Housty Bastles

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHousty Bastles
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishAllendale

Extended bastle, ruinous. Housty I, 6.9m wide; end wall with entrance 1.2m thick, round-headed byre door. Housty II, 8.3m x 6.9m overall, side wall 0.85m thick, end wall with byre entrance 1.05m thick. Byre door foundations visible in the grass suggest that the range contrived west of Housty I as well (Ryder 1984)

Housty, now a single farm, stands on the east side of the valley of the East Allen. The present farmhouse is dated 1736; to the north of it, beyond a small stream, is an open area which appears to have been a green between ranges of earlier houses. On the north side of the green the only roofed building is a byre of 18th or early 19thcentury date, but this is built on to the east end of an earlier bastle (Housty II), which in turn is added to the east gable of an earlier bastle (Housty I).

HOUSTY I: All that remains of this is the lower part of the east end, 6.85m wide and 1.21m thick, of heavy rubble with roughly shaped quoins. In the centre of the wall is an impressive byre doorway with a semicircular head cut into a monolithic lintel; there is a rebate for a door, and a drawbar tunnel in the south jamb. There are some footings of the south wall (apparently 0.85m wide) but the position of the west end cannot be traced with any certainty.

HOUSTY II: This has been the same width as Housty I, and 8.4m long. The side walls, 0.85m thick and of massive roughly shaped stones, have largely collapsed (their debris encumbers the interior) but the lower part of the east end is intact; this wall has been refaced in smaller stone on the internal (west) face but its external face (now within the byre) shows a central blocked doorway with a flat pointed head.

Footings on the lines of the side walls of Housty I continue westward, just under the turf, to where the lower part of the west wall of a house is now incorporated in a field wall, c.20m from the surviving wall of Housty I

It is unclear whether this was a bastle or not; it has a boulder plinth, but above this level the wall is of smaller stone and has had an 18th century character rear outshut. Further south, west of a brick shed, are tumbled stones and footings of another building, probably another bastle. It has been c.6m wide and possibly 8m long. It seems likely there was another range of buildings here as on the north of the green (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Extended bastle, ruinous. Housty 16.9m wide with end wall 1.2m thick retaining round-arched byre doorway. Housty II on east 8.3 m by 6.9 m with byre door. Foundations visible under grass suggest range continued to west of Housty I as well. There are also indications of ranges of other buildings to the west and south enclosing, together with the surviving range, three sides of a green or yard; this is a site that needs further investigation. (Ryder 1992)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY836571
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Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image
Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image
Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image
Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

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  • Grint, Julia, 2008, Bastles an introduction to the bastle houses of Northumberland (Hexham: Ergo Press) p. 36-9
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 428
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 118 (slight)
  • Ryder, Peter, 1996, Bastle Houses in the Northern Pennines (Alston: The North Pennines Heritage Trust) p. 12, 13


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Ryder, P.F., 1992, 'Bastles and bastle-like buildings in Allendale' Archaeological Journal Vol. 149 p. 351-79 (listed in appendix)


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 9-10
  • Ryder, P.F., 1984, Bastles in Allendale. Unpublished