Colwell Demense Bastle, Chollerton

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameColwell Demense Bastle, Chollerton
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishChollerton

The farm of Colwell Demesne stands on the north side of the single village street of Colwell; its farmhouse forms the west end of a long terrace of mainly 19th century houses and cottages.

The oldest part of the farmhouse is its west end, a former bastle, measuring c.12.9m by 6.35m, with walls of heavy rubble with massive elongate quoins, on a boulder plinth; the rear wall is 1.35m thick and the west and south walls of similar dimensions, although the original east wall has been cut away.

The blocked upper doorway is the most obvious early feature of the south front, set to the east of centre; it has a plain square head and heavy jamb stones; one of the largest blocks of the west jamb bears the incised letters 'EASSA', which have more the look of a reused fragment of a Roman inscription than something contemporary with the building. Directly below the blocked doorway is a 19th century sash window with some massive blocks in its western jamb, which is probably the in situ jamb of the byre doorway of the bastle. East of the upper doorway is a small square headed window with a chamfered surround, now blocked. There has been another small window, perhaps of the same size, further west (beyond a 19th century sash) but heavy pointing obscures all but its west jamb. A 19th century stair window, at mid height in the wall, cuts across the position of the original east end; below its sill the lower part of the original end quoin survives. The west end of the bastle shows traces of a possible basement slit vent, set more of less in the centre of the wall, and a small square headed loop at first floor level, in a chamfered surround, set south of centre. At the rear of the house is a two storeyed wing running north from the west end, and to the east of this an outshut continuing behind the 19th century part of the house

The evidence of its angle quoins suggests the wing was originally a single storey structure, probably of early 18th century date, heightened in the 19th century; the outshut may be of the early 19th century (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY953754
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  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 49
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Northumberland Bastles Survey Unpublished p. 4