Hepscott Tower

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHepscott Tower
Alternative NamesHepscott Hall; Heppescotes; Hepscot
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHepscott

Hepscott was originally a pele tower built in the reign of Henry III. In 1603, two wings were added, and it was altered in late C17 and early C18. Recently (circa 1985) altered to compete with its modern neighbours. The tower is 21ft square with walls 4ft thick. (PastScape ref. Dodds, 1999)

HEPSCOT, in old times written Heppescotes, is a township and manor of the Merlay barony, situated on the eastern border of this parish. In the time of Henry the Third it was holden of Roger de Merlay by one Randal de Merlay (III. i. 208.) The village of this name stands on the Sleckburn, and consists of two clusters of cottages set in gardens and orchards, a farm-house, and an old hall, which was a tower, and has had additions lower than itself made to it, and the whole roofed in at the same pitch, which gives it an odd appearance. In 1603, this hall, and a small estate belonging to it, as well as Dunce's-close, already noticed, were freehold property, belonging to widow Thompson. (Hodgson)

Hepscott Hall. Puzzling house - three storey block with taller square tower at rear. Pointed arch of front door looks 16th/early 17th century, everything else late 17th century. Tower looks like revival of tower house tradition, but has thin walls and is non-defensive. (Northumberland HER ref. Pevsner 1992)

Gatehouse Comments

There doesn't seem to be any real evidence the tower dates from Henry III. Clearly there was manor house, of some form, here temp. Henry III but the tower possible dates from as early as C14/C15 although architecturally the evidence is for a late C16 date.

- 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 ReferenceNZ224841
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 218
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 67
  • Pevsner, N. et al, 1992, Buildings of England: Northumberland (London) p. 315
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 69, 77
  • 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. 200
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 118
  • Hodgson, J., 1832, History of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Part 2 Vol. 2 p. 439 online copy