West Ealingham Farmhouse

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are no visible remains

NameWest Ealingham Farmhouse
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishBellingham

West Ealingham Farmhouse is built on the site of a bastle, one of four evenly spaced along the 180m contour of the south-facing slope of Ealingham Rigg. (PastScape ref. Dodds 1999)

The bastle replaced by the farmhouse is the only one of the four devoid of ground evidence. The regular spacing of this and the others is unusual and difficult to explain as their occupiers had nothing to do with army discipline and were ordinary farmers seeking the security of stout walls and the ability to hail friends when help was needed. (Dodds 1999)

Gatehouse Comments

The other three bastles are Stobby Lea, East Ealingham and Coathill. These bastles were the farmhouses of tenanted small farms made out of an earlier medieval manor called 'le Lee'. The distribution of these reflects only the production of workable holdings of roughly equal size on the southern slope of the Rigg, the farmhouses being built mainly on the spring line. There seems to be no actual evidence this site was a bastle. As this seems to have been the centre of the medieval manor it may be this farmhouse was the original medieval manor house although the probability is this was, at least, converted into a bastle style building.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY843807
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 353


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)