Greenchester Pele, Otterburn

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower, and also as a Possible Bastle

There are no visible remains

NameGreenchester Pele, Otterburn
Alternative NamesThe Holt
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishOtterburn

The deserted medieval village of Greenchester is visible here as earthworks. Documents written in 1728 mention the ruins of a pele tower at this location, although no remains of this building have been found. (Keys to the Past)

There has been an old tower of the usual kind (pele) at Greenchester. The present village of half a dozen cottages stands on the high ground (Horsley 1728-9; Clarke).

The only remains (presumably of Greenchester) are the turf-covered foundations of a single range of buildings at NY 87159446. These appear to represent the site of one or two cottages with an associated garth and circular pond. Nothing about the foundations suggests the former existence of a tower, neither do they merit the title of 'village', although remains may have been more extensive in Horsley's time (F1 RE 17-NOV-70). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

It may well be that, at this location, the old 'pele' was a pele-house (i.e. a bastle) rather than a gentry status pele tower. What were the actual words written by Horsley? Did he use the term 'tower' or is that a later assumption? What was Horsley source? Did that source use the term 'tower' or did Horsley assume 'pele' meant tower?

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY871944
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Unedited Contributions to the Hist of Northum (Add Notes by J Horsley 96 1728-9)
  • Towers & Fortified Houses of Northum 1904-1956 (Private and unpublished work by H F Clarke)