Greenleighton Stone House

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are no visible remains

NameGreenleighton Stone House
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHollinghill

Bastle and a little barmkin at Greenleighton (Hadcock 1939).

Described in the 1541 survey as a little stone house with a barmkin and not in good repair. (Not listed in the 1415 survey pp.13-19). (Bates 1891).

NZ 02719198. No trace of this building was discovered and there are no local traditions regarding its existence. No significant field names were discovered.

The present farmhouse, quite modern, stands on a rise and with its fine southern aspect possibly occupies the site of this building, which from its description in Bates appears to be one of the defended houses common to this region (F1 EG 18-FEB-1957). (Northumberland HER)

The {Newminster} Abbey's land was also farmed, probably by the monks themselves for they were enthusiastic agriculturalists. Soon after 1467 Abbot John Birtley built a fortification for them; at the time it was described as a 'strong stone house with barmekyn', so perhaps it should be classified as a strong house rather than as a tower.

In 1568 the situation was that the Crown owned the former Abbey's part and had leased it to Richard Stritham, John Fenwick owned the other part and the strong house was a ruin. (Dodds 1999)

In 1568, John Fenwick is returned in a survey as holding one part of the manor, and the crown the other part, which had belonged to the abbot of Newminster; and which last part the queen, 26 Nov. 1576, under the description of "a tenement called The Stone-house, with a close of arable land and pasture adjoining, and rights on the moor of Greenleighton, near Redesdale, and all the lands there, formerly in the hand of Roger Fenwick, esq. and late of Anthony Fenwick, belonging to the abbey of Newminster, leased for 21 years to Richard Statham, together with a tenement in Newgate, in Morpeth, in the tenure of William Blackett. (Hodgson 1827)

Gatehouse Comments

Quite the exact form of this 'Stone House' is unknown. The 1541 survey was concerned with buildings of large and modest size that could house a garrison of a number of horsemen. As an Abbey building this might reasonably be expected to be a building of good quality built with good financial backing. If it was built in the C15, as suggested by Dodds, then arguably the form may have been a hall house over a storage chamber, a form superficially similar to a pele-house type bastle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ027919
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 251
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 114 (slight)
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 11, 50
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 348
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 178
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 111
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 46 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)
  • Hodgson, J., 1827, History of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Part 2 Vol. 1 p. 291 online copy


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Hadcock, R.N., 1939, 'A map of mediaeval Northumberland and Durham' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 16 p. 148-218 esp 169
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 46 online copy

Primary Sources