Whitlow Bastle 2, Kirkhaugh

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are masonry footings remains

NameWhitlow Bastle 2, Kirkhaugh
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishKnaresdale with Kirkhaugh

Solitary bastle, 10.1m long x 6.4m wide. End wall 1.2m thick. Byre entrance in gable wall (Ryder 1986).

Whitlow II is a ruin lying in a slight dip in the hillside about 50m west of the empty early 19th century house at Whitlow. The main part of the building has been a bastle 10m by 6.4m externally; its corners, with heavy roughly shaped quoins, stand to a height of c.1m, but the remainder is largely obscured by rubble and grass. The east wall is 0.9m thick, with remains of a doorway (probably of 18th or early 19th century date) near the centre; there are traces of a blocked doorway, almost certainly the original byre entrance of the bastle, in the centre of the 1.1m thick south end. There has been a slightly narrower building 8.5m long, perhaps a barn, at the north end of the bastle; only traces of its footings remains, showing its walls were only 0.6m-0.7m thick; even less remains of a building 7m long attached to the south end of the bastle, merely a few foundation stones of the east wall (including a large block at the south east corner) and slight indications, under grass, of the west wall (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Three such buildings are clustered nearby at Whitlow, barely 300m to the south-east of the fort. One of these, termed 'Whitlow I' by Peter Ryder (1994, 125), is contained within the long range of farm buildings to the south west of the 19th-century farm house. The ruins of the second (Whitlow II) lie some 70m to the north-west of the farm house, and the third (Whitlow III), recently restored and partly roofed, lies a further 30m or so to the north-west. A fourth bastle lies in a more isolated location at the core of the Holymire farm building, part-way between Whitlow III and the fort

The low ruins of Whitlow II and the heavily altered walls of the original Holymire bastle are difficult to date, but the earliest phase at Whitlow I has been assigned with some confidence to around 1600, and that at Whitlow III to the latter part of the 17th century (Ryder 1995, 125; 2006, 4-8; 2008, 12-13). All four of these early buildings have similar dimensions, between 6m and 6.4m in width and from 10m to 10.9m in length, and these proportions are mirrored in many other examples throughout the district (Ryder 1995, 116-125). (Went and Ainsworth)

Gatehouse Comments

Forms a close group with Whitlow bastles 1 and 3.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY694484
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  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)


  • Went, David and Ainsworth, Stewart, 2009, Whitley Castle, Tynedale, Northumberland An archaeological investigation of the Roman fort and its setting (Research Department Report Series 89) p. 59-66 online copy
  • Ryder, P.F., 2006, Two former houses at Whitlow, South Tyneside An Archaeological Assessment (Unpublished report in Northumberland HER)
  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 2 p. 123-6
  • Ryder, P.F., 1986, Pers. comm. to Northumberland HER