Middleton next the sea Tower

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameMiddleton next the sea Tower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishMiddleton

A 15th century list refers to a tower at Middleton (Hodgson 1820)

'Two stone houses or castells' were mentioned at Middleton in 1542. The present Middleton Hall is modern, but the old hall which stood at the bottom of the present pleasure ground, where there are two sycamores, might have been one of them. The foundations of an old fortalice in the adjacent field represent the remains of the other (Hardy 1885)

There are no visible remains of either tower or of the old hall, and the former 'pleasure garden' with its two sycamores is unknown to the Agent (Greenwich Hospital Estates) and could not be traced (F1 BHP 07-NOV-1968). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Tower recorded in the list of 1415, when it belonged to William Muschamp. Gone by 1715. There seems to have been a turris at Middleton by the sea in 1415 well supported by the tenurial history given in the NCH. What form this was is, of course, unknown but in the context of the list is likely to be a fairly large solar tower attached to an unfortified hall rather than a tower house. It is not recorded in the later C16 surveys, The 1715 survey of John Warburton says the 'handsome house; had formerly an old tower' which suggests there may have been some relics of the tower still in 1715. Dodds (p. 62) seems to suggest parts of the tower existed until 1880 when the current house was built but his source for this unclear. What seems fairly clear however is that the reference to two stone houses does not belong in this record. There are several Middletons in Northumberland and identification of which Middleton is meant in the primary sources is not certain. The 1415 list specifically states Turris de Middilton iuxta mare which is clearly a different location from the Turris de Northmidileton also listed. The 1541 survey (misdated by Hodgson as 1542) records "The towneshippe of Mydleton Hall ... hath in yt two stone house or bastells the one of th'inheritaunce of Robt Rotherforthe & thother of John Rotherforthe" in the East March but the context of that list would make that site Middleton Hall in Earle near Wooler at NT989253, which is not near to the sea.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNU094354
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 61-2
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 115 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 351
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 234
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 134
  • Bateson, Edward (ed), 1893, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 1 p. 397 online copy
  • Hodgson, J., 1820, History of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Part 3 Vol. 1 p. 30 online copy
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 19 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)


  • Hodgson, J.C., 1916, 'List of Ruined Towers, Chapels, etc., in Northumberland; compiled about 1715 by John Warburton, Somerset Herald, aided by John Horsley' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser3) Vol. 13 p. 5 abridged transcription
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 19 online copy

Primary Sources