Chesterwood West Farm Cottage

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

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameChesterwood West Farm Cottage
Alternative NamesChesterwood 3
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHaydon

Bastle house, C16 or early C17 altered C18 and C19. Large rubble, massive quoins, stone dressings, slate roof, stone stack on left gable. Front elevation: 2 storeys, 2 windows and central door. C18 doorway with chamfered surround, windows C19 sashes in C18 openings with tooled splayed lintels and slightly projecting tooled sills. Remains of blocked 1st floor door above front door. Rear elevation altered. (Listed Building Report)

West Farm Cottage (Chesterwood iii) bastle. Externally measures 8.25m by 6.37m, this remains in use as a house. The walls, 0.85m to 0.9m thick, are of typical bastle fabric with large roughly squared quoins at the western angles. The two bay south elevation has sash windows with wedge lintels, and a central doorway with a chamfered stone surround, all with distinctive vertical tooling. Between the two upper windows the remains of the jambs of the original upper doorway are visible. The present doorway is now concealed by a modern porch, with an outer doorway reusing an old doorhead with a flat-pointed arch inside a square frame, and the incised inscription '1608 TH WH'; this appears to have been imported from elsewhere. There is a modern doorway in the rear wall (the c.1860 OS 25 inch map shows a small wing here), and two small windows; the upper may be original. The west gable has a raised coping of large shaped stones, and carried a heavy square stack, which may be contemporary. Inside, the main ground floor room has a large square headed fireplace on the west wall, with tooling similar to that of the doorway and windows on the south, and circular bread oven at its rear. The eastern of the southern windows incorporates some large shaped blocks from an earlier opening (presumably reset) in its east jamb. The first floor beams are probably of late 18th or early 19th century date, and carry old broad floorboards; the stair is modern

At first floor level there is a good 18th century fireplace with a moulded basket arch and a bolection moulded cornice. In the attic an old roof truss, set centrally, is partially exposed; this is of simple principal rafter type, with a diagonally set ridge and a single heavy purlin on each roof slope. The chimney at the west end has a tapering brick flue and a stone top, set on internal corbels (Ryder 1994-5). (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

Not scheduled

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
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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
  • 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
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E., 1970, Shielings and Bastles (London: HMSO) p. 87


  • 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. 2 p. 83