Linn View

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLinn View
Alternative NamesHigh Limestone Braes; Over Limestone Braes
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishWest Allen

The ruins of Linn View lie on the steep hillside below the hamlet of Limestone Brae. The remains consist of a single north-south range. At the north end is a bastle 14.4m by 6.6m, with typical walling of massive roughly squared blocks and elongate quoins; the side walls are 0.85m-0.9m thick, and the northern end wall 1.1m. The first southern extension, only 2.6m long, is of roughly squared stone with some large blocks and better squared quoins. The second extension, 4.3m long, is of more thinly coursed stone, still with well squared quoins; it appears to have originally been single storeyed and later heightened. The southern part of the range, 8.3m long, is of thinly coursed stone, without any quoins; this is the only part of the building to retain a roof (of metal sheets). This part of the range has had an outshut on the east, of which only the south end wall remains. All three phases of addition have walls c.0.6m thick. At some more recent period the walls of the earlier parts of the range have been raised to correspond with those of phase IV.

The bastle retains its central byre doorway in its north gable, square headed and with a chamfered surround; unusually, there is no evidence of any drawbar tunnels in its jambs. An enlarged or inserted window at first floor level is flanked internally by stone wall cupboards; there is another inserted window at attic level in the gable; some of the old heavy coping stones survive to show the older steeper roof pitch prior to the post phase IV heightening. The west wall of the bastle has partly collapsed. In the surviving section at the north end are two basement slit vents, whilst at first floor level a single stone wall cupboard survives close to both ends of the wall

A massive raking buttress has been built against the southern part of the wall.

The east wall has been considerably altered; the external ground level is now at first floor level; this may be due to hill wash and build up of soil, as an almost buried basement door in the phase II section suggests. The only original bastle feature to survive is a small square window at first floor level, without any cut dressings. An oak frame to the window, loosened by the collapse of the internal face of the wall, was removed by the author in 1984 and is on display in the Border Museum in Hexham. At the north end of the wall is a chamfered doorway at first floor level of late 17th or 18th century character, then a window (probably originally of two lights) with a chamfered surround of later 18th century type, replacing an earlier (but probably not original) opening set a little further north. Further south, beyond the original window, is a section of wall that seems to have been rebuilt relatively recently, with a second square window of later 18th century type, evidently reset as the chamfer is not internal. South of this the final section of the bastle wall has been removed by a large modern opening with a concrete lintel.

The phase II extension has a square headed chamfered doorway on the east, now blocked and almost buried. On the west is a small square basement window, also blocked, with a large later window opening above. The phase III section has a chamfered doorway of 18th century type on the west. The phase IV building is probably of early 19th century date; its ground floor may always have been a byre, but at first floor level there are traces of a hearth and flue against its south wall.

The interior of the building is much encumbered by debris and rubble and is largely filled up to the level of the former first floor. In the phase I bastle and off-set on the internal wall faces marks the former position of the floor, which has been carried on transverse beams, At first floor level there are stone wall cupboards on either side of the window in the north gable, and close to either end of the east wall. The original south gable end has been completely cut away; there are remains of an inserted cross wall, with fireplaces set centrally on both sides, a little south of centre. There is a local tradition that the basement, or part of it, had served as a prison, and that iron rings and fetters had been seen fixed to the walls. The south end wall of the phase III building has a doorway with a timber lintel opening into the first floor of the phase IV extension, and remains of a fireplace and flue.

The phase I bastle (quite an elongate example; it is just possible that collapse and rebuilding hide evidence of there being more than one phase of work within it) probably dates from the early 17th century. The phase II extension is probably work of the late 17th or early 18th century. The phase II extension, originally a single storey outbuilding, probably dates to the later 18th century; it was heightened prior to the addition of the phase IV block in the early or mid 19th century. The final phase of heightening and reconstruction of the roof of phases I-III probably took pace in the 20th century, although this part of the building has now been ruinous and roofless for some years (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY795496
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  • Ryder, Peter, 1996, Bastle Houses in the Northern Pennines (Alston: The North Pennines Heritage Trust) p. 17, 18


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 2 p. 155-6