Bank Head

Has been described as a Certain Bastle, and also as a Certain Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameBank Head
Alternative NamesBankhead; Banckheade upon Eske
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishKirkandrews

In 1596 Bankhead was raided by the Scots, and despite having an iron yett (gate) and plenty of powder and shot, was captured by Buccleugh. It is fairly certain that it was a small tower house. There are no remains to be seen. (PastScape)

Stonehouse or tower, now demolished.

Cole quotes the Cal BLP 1596 raid on the stonehouse, which although it had an iron yett and was well provided with powder and shot, was captured by Buccleugh. He states 'it is fairly certain that Bankhead was a small towerhouse.'

Not on the 1590 map, but appears as a tower on the 1607 platt. Cole gives a number of further references to the Graham of Bankhead referring to Cal BLP and the deportation of David Graham to the Low Countries in 1606.

Cole suggests that excavation may reveal the site, otherwise nothing to see. (Perriam and Robinson 1998)

Gatehouse Comments

Despite Cole's comment would have been a bastle of some form, possibly something like the stonehouse at Naworth Park. The meaning of the symbols on the early plans is an open question. The report of the raid of 1596 may to be exaggerated, certainly the value of the goods taken (£400) is likely to be over stated.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY368708
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 96 (slight)
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 226


  • Graham, T.H.B., 1914, 'The Debatable Land Part II' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 14 facing p. 148 online copy [online copy of 1607 platt >] [online copy of 1552 map >]

Primary Sources

  • Bain, J., 1896, Calendar of Letters and Papers relating to the Borders of England and Scotland (Edinburgh: HMSO) Vol. 2 1595-1603 p. 198 no. 399 online copy


  • Cole, J.R., 1982, A survey of the Debatable Land and Glen Tarras c. 1449-1620 (Thesis for Manchester University) p. 59-60