Hesleyside Tower

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are masonry footings remains

NameHesleyside Tower
Alternative NamesHeslesyde
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishBellingham

Country house, originally incorporating an earlier house and a pele tower, probably built in the early C14, documented in 1537 and 1541. A house was attached to the east side of this tower in C17. The house was rebuilt in 1719, but the core of the earlier house is thought to survive within the present building. Additions to the house include the east front which was built in 1796. Alterations were carried out in the late C18, the mid C19 and C20. The building is constructed of ashlar with Lakeland slate roofs and is a courtyard house of three storeys. The pele tower was pulled down in the early C19 and the material used to build a stable. The stables have since been demolished in turn. (PastScape)

The house and tower at Hesleyside is mentioned in 1537. The tower stood to the east of the present mansion and was pulled down in the early 19th c.

In 1541 the tower is mentioned as being in the inheritance of " .... Charleton sonne to Edward Charleton deceased". To the east side of the tower was added a 17th cent wing believed to have been built in 1631. In 1719 this wing was reconstructed but the core of the earlier building is believed to remain. Other alterations and building took place in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The present building is quadrangular with the work of 1719 on the south side (Dodds 1940).

The oldest portion of the present house is the south front which is Queen Anne (prob the 1719 rebuilding refd to by Dodds), the

remainder that been constructed and reconstructed from the 18c.-20c. inclusive.

'A' NY 81588371. The Pele tower was situated slightly to the west of the house (now an ornamental garden) it was taken down in the 19thc., and the material used to construct a stable, the stable itself has now been demolished and the material spread

Deeds of property mention the Pele, its site, and demolition (F1 WDC 06-JUL-56).

The Charlton family built a tower at South Charlton in the early 14th century, naming the new tower Hesleyside. Edward Charlton is the first recorded resident there in 1343. It was a substantial building, for in 1525 it garrisoned 50 men who drove off a Scottish raiding party. In 1540 it was described as a massive square building with a collection of dwellings about it. The transformation into the present Hesleyside Hall began in 1631. The pele tower survived until the 1796 reconstruction when it was pulled down (King 1983; Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Although quite a large house, though able to hold a garrison of 50 horsemen, it does seem the form of the house was a solar or chamber block attached to a hall. The Charlton's were are important gentry family but not of baronial status.

- 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 ReferenceNY816837
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 302-4
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 67
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 11, 42
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 349
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 200-2
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 118
  • Pevsner, N., 1957, Buildings of England: Northumberland (London) p. 170
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1940, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 15 p. 252-4
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 48 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)
  • Tomlinson, W.W., 1888, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 219


  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 48 online copy

Primary Sources