Duddo Tower

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameDuddo Tower
Alternative NamesDuddoo
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishDuddo

Duddo Tower survives in reasonable condition as a ruined building and earthwork. The full extent of the building and subsidiary structures survive as earthworks and will retain significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a wider group of medieval border towers reflecting the unstable warlike conditions in the region at this time. The monument includes the ruins of a medieval tower house, which is Listed Grade II, situated in a commanding position on top of crags immediately south of Duddo village. The south west corner and part of the south wall of the tower survive to a height of about 9m and are built of coursed, roughly squared stone. At first floor level is a square window with a chamfered surround and the remains of a second floor window above. At the south west angle a few stones remain of a projecting course that seems to have formed the base of a parapet. Around the base of the standing remains is 19th century masonry, built to prevent its collapse. Large pieces of fallen masonry lie to the south east of the tower and are the remnants of a projecting turret. The outlines of the remaining sides of the tower are difficult to see but measure approximately 12m by 10m. Evidence for the former appearance of the tower has come from late 19th century photographs and a published description by Bates. These describe a tower block with a projecting wing on the south front which contained the entrance and a stair. A barn-like building is also described as having stood near the tower and was removed in about 1850. To the south east of the tower, earthwork remains of building foundations can be seen which are interpreted as remains of the buildings described by Bates. The first known documentary reference to a tower at Duddo was when it was destroyed by James IV of Scotland in 1496. A part of this tower remained standing in 1541 and was described with a barmkin around it in 1561. The present remains are believed to be those of a late 16th century tower

(Scheduling Report)

Ruined strong house. Late C16. Roughly-coursed stone. The south-west corner and about 12 ft. of the south wall stand to c.30 ft. Chamfered plinth. Square window with chamfered surround at c.20 ft.; the sill and jambs of another at the very top. Walls c.5 ft. thick. (Listed Building Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceNT938425
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  • SR., 2005, 'Agriculture aids Archaeology' Archaeology in Northumberland Vol. 15 p. 19 (News report of conservation funding) download from Northumberland CC
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  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 38, 53, 409 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1561, The Survey Booke of Norham and Ilandshire, taken and made in the 3rd year of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, Queen of England, etc. Survey of Norham and Islandshire
  • Sir Robert Bowes, 1550, A Book of the State of the Frontiers and Marches betwixt England and Scotland taken from Brit. Mus. Cotton. MS. Titus, F.13, a copy of the original (see Bates, 51, n185). Printed in Hodgson, [pt.3, ii, 187, 204 > http://archive.org/stream/historyofnortpt302hodguoft#page/204/mode/1up]
  • 1541 View of the Castles, Towers, Barmekyns and Fortresses of the Frontier of the East and Middle Marches Survey of the East and Middle Marches


  • Kent, C.L., 2016, Beyond the defensible threshold: the house-building culture of Berwick-upon-Tweed and the East March, 1550-1603 (PhD Thesis, Durham University) online copy
  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 2 Berwick District p. 13-14