Middle Skelgill

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

There are masonry footings remains

NameMiddle Skelgill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishAlston Moor

Stonehouse with possible tower base.

R.A. Fairbairn records a datestone 'I D D 1694' and describes it as single storey, originally heather-thatched, raised in the 17th century. (Perriam and Robinson)

At Skelgill is a stone house with a possible tower base. The tower predates the adjoining house which was added in 1694 according to a datestone over lintel. (PastScape ref. Perriam and Robinson)

Gatehouse Comments

A John Whitfield, of Skelgill, gent is recorded the C16 but there are several Skelgill's. If this site was a gentry residence, and if this 'single storey' building was a tower in its original form than this would be a pele tower in the terms used in Gatehouse. However, this is at the lowest end of gentry status buildings and it may be this is actually a simple yeoman's house. The walls shown on the plan in Perriam and Robinson are only 2 foot thick, probably too thin for either a pele-tower or a pele-house type bastle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY732465
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  • Jessop, Lucy and Whitfield, Matthew, 2013, Alston Moor, Cumbria: Buildings in a North Pennines landscape (English Heritage) p. 41
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 39 (plan)
  • Hodgson, J., 1840, History of Northumberland (Newcastle) Part 2 Vol. 3 p. 31 (tenurial history) online copy


  • Fairbairn, R.A., 1978, Survey