Wooley Farm Bastle complex - The Farmhouse

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are major building remains

NameWooley Farm Bastle complex - The Farmhouse
Alternative NamesBroadwoodhall; Low Broadwood; Woye
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishAllendale

House, probably early C16 with C17 extension and later alterations. Rubble with stone dressings, stone slate roof, stone gable and ridge stacks. Linear plan, original through-passage entry, perhaps a longhouse. 1 storey with attic, 2 storeys to right of door. C20 door left of centre with renewed chamfered jambs and weathered lintel said to have carried '1611' date. To left of door a 3-light chamfered mullioned window to ground floor and a 12- pane horizontal sliding sash to attic. To right of door a 9-pane fixed stair window in chamfered surround. Former door, with chamfered surround and flattened triangular head cut in monolithic lintel, blocked and C20 window inserted. One ground floor C20 window and 2 others above. To left, slightly set-back C17 extension with C20 ground floor window. Left return has blocked 1st floor loop and corbel for earlier chimney. Right gable rendered, altered ground floor door. Rear elevation has blocked doorway with window inserted as on front and various blocked openings, including byre ventilation loops to left of door. Interior much altered. Good quality 5-bay roof has principal-rafter trusses with collars, stone slates secured with sheep bones, and some evidence of a former stack to the left of the through passage. Probably the earliest surviving domestic building in Allendale. (Listed Building Report)

The Farmhouse

The original section of Wooley Farmhouse is a rectangular block 17.4 m by c. 6.7 m externally, with side walls 0.85 m thick and gable ends 1.2-1.4 m. Entry was originally via a cross passage set a little north of centre, with triangular-headed doorways (now windows); the present square-headed doorway, on the east, has a flaking lintel said to have borne the date '1611; a central doorway in the north end wall looks modern in its present form

South of the cross passage there would appear to have been an open hall, to judge from windows, quite small and square, with chamfered surrounds, set at mid-height in each side wall; other windows suggest either that the hall was floored over by the mid-seventeenth century, or that it had a storeyed bay at its south end. North of the cross passage are blocked ground-floor slit vents in the west wall, and a transverse wall of uncertain date; the first floor of this part has a two-light mullioned window (apparently replacing an older opening) on the west, the head of a three-light mullioned window visible over one of the two twentieth-century windows in the east wall, and good quality seventeenth-century ceiling beams. A fireplace against the north wall is evidenced both by its corbelled-out hearth projection above the ground-floor door, and traces of a firehood at roof level. The house has a five-bay roof of surprisingly good quality; the principal rafter trusses have notched-in collars, and a tenon on the end of one principal rafter engaging with common rafter of the opposite roof slope. The wall plates have face-halved scarfjoints, and the purlins splayed scarfjoints with under-squinted lower abutments. Sawn-off rafters and a cut in the face of the tie-beam of the adjacent truss indicate a stack or firehood serving the hall. There are also signs of a firehood against the south end wall. At the south end of the farmhouse is a bastle-like extension about 6 m square, with typical long quoins but rather better-coursed masonry than the farmhouse; the walls are a little thicker. No old features survive on the ground floor, but the room above (now part of the roof space) has a small splayed loop in each wall; that on the south is something of a puzzle as there are clear indications of a firehood here as well; three out of the four corbels which supported the cantilevered stack remain. The first-floor doorway between farmhouse and extension has a pegged and chamfered oak frame. (Ryder 1992)

Gatehouse Comments

In the 1608 survey Nicholas Sheele is also recorded as the tenant of a 'water corne mill called the kinge's mill'. This may suggest the Wooley complex had a role as a regional corn store with specific need to be defensible. See also North Range and West Range other bastles within this farm complex.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY828544
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  • Pevsner, Nikolaus et al (rev edn), 2002, The Buildings of England: Northumberland (Yale University Press) p. 127
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 425-6
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 120 (slight)
  • Ryder, Peter, 1996, Bastle Houses in the Northern Pennines (Alston: The North Pennines Heritage Trust) p. 12, 15
  • Hinds, Allen B. (ed), 1896, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 3 p. 95 online copy


  • 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 esp 362-5 < >


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 23-4