Cardurnock 'Tower'

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

There are no visible remains

NameCardurnock 'Tower'
Alternative NamesCardronock; Castlesteads; Anthorn
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishBowness

Post Medieval Bastle/Pele Tower. A tower is shown on the 1590 map by Burghley at Cardurnock. Site not located. (PastScape ref. Perriam and Robinson)

Castlesteads Fieldname possibly site of a medieval watch tower built over Roman Milecastle No. 5. (Jackson 1990)

Milecastle 5. Site lies within a disused wartime airfield, now farmed and under pasture. No trace. The evidence for an Elizabethan watch tower, based on a single sherd of 16th - 17th century glazed pottery is minimal; the classification of Medieval Watchtower has been removed from the record. (PastScape record 9609 ref. Keith Blood and Colin Lofthouse/10-MAR-1994/RCHME: Cumberland Coast Project.)

Gatehouse Comments

It is difficult to really known what the symbols on the 1590 map actually meant. They mainly refer to sites that are now lost and which were never gentry status sites. This suggests these were not pele towers. It is more likely they were some form of bastle or stonehouse. The lack of survival of such houses in this area, as opposed to their fairly frequent survival in the higher Pennine lands, may reflect the good agricultural quality of this land producing wealth (once the area was politically stabilised and decriminalised) which allowed for the building of brand new farmhouses and farmbuildings in the C18/C19. The site of this tower is not located but is not Milecastle 5. Given map reference for Cardurnock hamlet.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY172588
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 99 (slight)
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 65
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 97


  • Simpson, F.G., Hodgson, K.S. and Richmond, I.A., 1947, 'The Coastal Mile-Fortlet at Cardurnock' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 47 p. 78, 127 (milecastle excavation) online copy
  • Ellis, H., 1829, 'Copy of a manuscript tract addressed to Lord Burghley, illustrative of the Border topography of Scotland, AD 1590, with a platt or map of the Borders taken in the same year' Archaeologia Vol. 22 p. 161-71 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1590, A Platt of the opposete Borders of Scotland to ye west marches of England (The Aglionby Platt) British Library online Gallery and [Old Cumbria Gazetteer >] (see also [Gatehouse Essay 'The Aglionby Platt' >])