Hazelrigg Tower

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHazelrigg Tower
Alternative NamesHazlerigg; Heslerigg; Heselryg; Hasslerigg; Heselrigge; Hesellerygge
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishChatton

First mentioned c.1514 when it could hold a garrison of twenty men. In 1715, a house was built from the ruins (Dodds 1935).

No visible remains of tower or house. The site cannot be confirmed from local sources (i.e. estate maps and title apportionment) (F1 DS 20-JAN-1968).

There are several courses of substantial standing masonry with the wood at the mapped location which may be the remains of the tower. The adjacent front garden wall of the adjacent Old Hazelrigg Cottage contains further substantial stones which could have come from such a structure (pers. Comm J Penn, owner of Old Hazelrigg Cottage, 19-Dec-2012). (Northumberland HER)

The Hazelrigg family inherited Hazelrigg in the 13th century, but at the end of the 15th century, the last heiress had married Sir Thomas Haggerston and lived at Haggerston. When Sir Thomas died in 1507, his widow returned to Hazelrigg where her stepson built a new tower on the side of a hill for her protection. It was a large fortification capable of housing 20 soldiers. It was attacked by 300 Scots in 1515 and set ablaze. Although repaired by 1538, it was a low, incomplete building in good condition. The Scots returned in 1546 and 1588 after which there is no further documentation. In 1715 there is a reference to a house having been built on the site out of the tower's ruins.

There are several 'Hazelriggs' which qualify for the site - North, South, Old, Mill, Dean and Moss, but none without an adjective, so the house's exact position is unknown. (PastScape ref. Dodds 1999)

Gatehouse Comments

Whilst Dodds is correct that that the exact location is uncertain the traditional location is marked on OS maps and attested by local observation and seems entirely reasonable as a location. A garrison of 20 soldiers was the minimum number given in such lists and suggests, by analogue with other towers having a garrison of 20, a small pele tower although, if this built as a dower house, this may have been a free standing tower rather than a solar tower attached to an unfortified hall.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNU056331
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 2002, Index and Amendments to Mike Salter's English Castles Books (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 4
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 99
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 114 (slight)
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 32
  • 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. 194-5
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 116-7
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1935, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 14 p. 226-7
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 23 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)


  • Hodgson, J.C., 1916, 'List of Ruined Towers, Chapels, etc., in Northumberland; compiled about 1715 by John Warburton, Somerset Herald, aided by John Horsley' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser3) Vol. 13 p. 6 abridged transcription
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 23 online copy

Primary Sources