Low Hartleycleugh Bastle(s)

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are major building remains

NameLow Hartleycleugh Bastle(s)
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishWest Allen

Bastle house, late C16 or early C17, with early C19 byre/hayloft to north. Rubble with dressings; stone slate roofs. Bastle 2 storeys, 4 irregular bays. Blocked ground-floor doorway with worn lintel inscription; small 4-pane window to right. 1st floor chamfered doorway blocked with later window inserted; to left 2 2-light mullioned windows, one enlarged and the other blocked; to right a small chamfered window. Byre/hayloft to right has boarded door and 2 fixed windows on ground floor; boarded pitching door and slit vents above. Left return shows original byre entrance of bastle, with heavy lintel, blocked and window inserted; above and to left a second blocked door. Rear elevation obscured by C20 lean to. Interior altered. C20 shed to far right not of interest. (Listed Building Report)

Uncertain bastle, 12.7m x 7.6m. Side walls 0.95m thick, end wall 1.2m thick. Byre entrance on ground floor. First floor doorway in long wall (Pers Comm, P F Ryder, 1986).

A rather unusual bastle, the best preserved in West Allendale. Overall measurements are 11.7m by 6.8m, it has adjacent pairs of upper and lower doorways both in the east wall and in the south end; the doorways are all square headed with chamfered surrounds. The lintel of the lower door on the east has remains of an incised inscription which might be legible with oblique lighting. At first floor level there are four windows on the east, a small fire window at the south end (now blocked, and only easily visible internally), then two (one enlarged, one blocked) perhaps originally each of two lights, and a fourth smaller one north of the door, probably another fire window. Inside, concrete refacing and reinforcement means that there is little to see at basement level other than a change in alignment of the east wall, somewhat south of centre, which might indicate the position of a removed cross wall

There are evidences of a firehood - various sockets in the wall - at the south end; similar evidences at the north end may be hidden by plaster. The roof structure is of some interest, consisting of three old trusses, each of principal rafter form with a collar. The southernmost is of better quality with a more massive chamfered tie beam with various mortices and pegholes.

The upper floor was used as living accommodation within the last 50 years; the walls retain plaster and remains of wall paper.

The duplication of doorways to hearth positions and the hints of a removed cross wall, seem to imply that this building was built as a possibly unique semi-detached pair of bastles. There is an adjacent 19th century farm building to the north (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Like some other 'semi-detached' peel-houses the question of how these functioned is some mute. Presumably two generations of the same family, working the same holding, had separate living accommodation. The same is probably true for some closely associated pairs or small groups of peel-houses.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY803487
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 423
  • 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)
  • 2008 April 3, 'Bastle house keeps its secrets' Hexham Courant online copy