Chesterwood; The Golf House

Has been described as a Certain Bastle, and also as a Certain Urban Defence

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameChesterwood; The Golf House
Alternative NamesThe Old Pele House, Chesterwood 5
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHaydon

Bastle house, now outbuilding. C16 or early C17. Large stone rubble, massive quoins and dressings. Slate roof, reduced stone stack on right gable. Front elevation: external stone stair, boarded door to right. First floor, 6-pane casement with splayed lintel, boarded door with chamfered left jamb, window with splayed lintel. Rear elevation has blocked door with massive jambs and lintel. Interior has old transverse first floor beams. (Listed Building Report)

An old cottage at Chesterwood incorporates what was probably the east wall of a pele tower (Swan 1933-4).

The wall forms the western end of the 18th/19th century cottage at NY 82966514, and is obviously the only remains of a much earlier building. The cottage is known as 'The Old Pele House' (F1 RWE 19-OCT-1965).

NY 829651 A group of five houses built as bastles or in the bastle tradition (Ramm et al 1970).

Chesterwood V:

This bastle measures 9m by 6.8m externally, with walls c.0.85m-0.9m thick; the west end wall, 1.1m thick, survives from an earlier building. On the north the junction between the two buildings, and an adjacent old doorway, are concealed by a modern addition (illustrated in PSAN) and photographed by the owner before the addition was made. On the south there is a basement doorway at the east end of the wall, and a heavy stone external stair leading to an upper doorway, with a sash window on either side; the only old feature seems to be the chamfered western jamb of the upper doorway. Inside, the basement has a ceiling of old beams of relatively light scantling, which are probably not original.

This appears to be the house where a local celebrity Frank Stokoe lived in the early 18th century (Ryder 1994-5).

Archaeological evaluation carried out in November 2009 comprising two test pits inside the building and one outside north wall

The test pits showed the bastle probably sits on a deposit of a decomposed or rotted sandstone overlying bedrock. It was overlain by a series of floors internal to the building, none earlier than 19th century in date. The earliest floor comprised a surface of coal dust and gritty loam with intermittent and ad hoc cobbling. This floor was sealed by a substantial clay-loam floor which probably extends across the whole building. A third floor of sandstone slabs was only exposed in one test pit and seems to run along the length of the west wall, possibly associated with a blocked doorway and perhaps served as flooring for livestock stalls. A blocked doorway was revealed in the west wall of the basement when plaster was removed. The doorway has chamfered jambs and lintel and is framed by a diminishing boulder plinth; it is probably an original feature of the now demolished western building. Another blocked door, with a timber lintel, was revealed on the inner face of the south wall. It has been blocked from the inside and lies behind the external stone stairs, in which case it must be an early feature superseded by the present entrance at the east end of the wall. There is also a blocked doorway in the north wall. At first floor level the east face of the west wall also revealed a poosible blocked window opening (Williams 2010). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

One of a number of bastles in small group forming hamlet (5 according to RCHME report, Dodds can only safely count 3, a local newspaper claimed 13 originally, SMR gives details of 7 bastles.) The Chesterwood group of bastles could be considered to amount to a defended village.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceNY829651
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Ryder, Peter, 2004, 'Towers and bastles in Northumberland National Park' in Frodsham, P., Archaeology in the Northumberland National Park (CBA Research report 136) p. 262-271
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 395-6
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 117 (slight)
  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin) p. 224
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 357
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E. 1970, Shielings and Bastles (HMSO) p. 87 No. 44


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Swan, E.W., 1933-4, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (ser4) Vol. 6 p. 329-30


  • Williams, A., 2010, Chesterwood Bastle (The Golf House), Haydon Bridge, Northumberland: archaeological evaluation. Unpublished
  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 2 p. 84