Lane Head Bastle, Allendale

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are no visible remains

NameLane Head Bastle, Allendale
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishAllendale

Lane Head is situated on land which slopes gently northward towards the confluence of the East and West Allen rivers. The house has been considerably altered in recent years, but incorporates a bastle 9m by 6.3m externally; there is an 18th or 19th century outshut (recently heightened) to the rear, an 18th or 19th century barn to the east (converted to domestic accommodation in 1993), a 1986 extension to the west, and a recent porch set centrally on the south.

The south wall of the bastle is of coursed rubble with large roughly squared quoins; it may have been rebuilt, as it is only 0.75m thick in contrast to the 1m of the north wall. The end walls are of rubble. The south wall is of two bays with renewed windows in tooled and margined raised stone surrounds, those in the western bay of rather narrow proportions. The north wall of the outshut shows blocked windows and a doorway with reset chamfered surround of big blocks (later heightened); this may be the original byre doorway of the bastle.

During the 1993 alterations the upper part of the east gable end of the bastle was exposed. At the north end of the wall was the original upper doorway of the bastle, which (having been blocked) was reopened and heightened to correlate with present floor levels. The original jambs were chamfered; the lintel was a later replacement. Old timber lintels were visible before the alterations, with a square cut out for a harr post. Above, the old gable line was visible, with projecting stones to carry a cantilevered stack, and the outline of a secondary stack flush with the wall face.

The original building at Lane Head was certainly a bastle, unusual in the gable end position of the upper doorway. The original location of the byre doorway is uncertain. The house was first remodelled c.1800 (Ryder 1994-5)

(Northumberland HER)

The front wall of the bastle was rebuilt around 1800 so that the original character of the building is not immediately obvious. During further alterations in 1998, the building was the subject of an archaeological examination. Two original slit vents were recorded in the former rear wall of the bastle at ground level, and on the floor above a tiny two-light mullioned window in a heavy oak frame, of morticed and pegged construction. When the rear outshut was added c.1800, this rear doorway re-used massive grit stone dressings from what was almost certainly the original byre doorway. Unusually the original doorway which survives in part on the upper floor is positioned on the end wall rather than the side. Above the re-set rear doorway was a cavity in the wall into which there had been sealed a child's shoe and several pieces of broken clay pipe (Ryder 1998-9). (Northumberland HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY797577
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  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Ryder, P.F., 1998-99, Archaeology in Northumberland Vol. 9 p. 31
  • 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. 10-11