White Heather Cottage, Beltingham

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWhite Heather Cottage, Beltingham
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishBardon Mill

Bastle House late C16 or early C17 remodelled C18. Rubble,stone dressings, stone slate roof, coped gables, left end stone stack, right C18 brick. 2 storeys, 3 windows. Central blocked door. Late C19 sashes, with dressed stone lintels,on ground floor, timber lintels above, the centre window blocked. Right outshut with boarded door in C20 glazed porch. Left and rear walls of massive rubble with boulder plinth. Small blocked attic window in chamfered surround on left return. (Listed Building Report)

Solitary bastle, 9m x 6.2m externally, end wall 1.1m thick. Present state - house (Ryder 1990).

Beltingham bastle, NY 789638. Complete but rebuilt (Dixon 1972).

The fabric and wall thicknesses of White Heather Cottage show that it originated as a bastle, although no original architectural features are visible. The main body of the house measures c.8.9m by 6.2m externally. The original walls are of large roughly coursed and roughly squared stone on a boulder plinth, and are of some thickness (east end 1.1m). The south wall, of smaller stonework, seems to be an 18th century rebuild and is only 0.63m thick. The rebuilt south wall is of three irregular bays; the windows are four-pane sashes in older openings, those on the upper floor with timber lintels; the central bay has both its doorway and the window above now blocked. The only feature in the west end is a small window to the attic, which seems to have a chamfered surround although heavy pointing obscures detail; the gable is coped by large triangular blocks. The north wall appears to be featureless, although the proximity of an adjacent cottage means it is difficult to inspect it properly

The stone slate roof as a 'wrestler' ridge (with the topmost course of slates on each side shaped so as to interlock); there are other examples of this now rare technique at Shankhead to the south and at Blanchland.

No old features are exposed inside; the original east end wall is now internal (an end outshut having been added, containing the present front door) and plastered on both faces (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

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 ReferenceNY789639
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Calculate Print


  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 402
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. lxviii


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Dixon, P.W., 1972, 'Shielings and bastles: a reconsideration of some problems' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 50 p. 249-58


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 34
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Bastles and Towers in the Northumberland National Park (Report for Northumberland National Park Authority) p. 3