High Ramshaw Bastle

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHigh Ramshaw Bastle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishPlenmeller with Whitfield

The remote farm of High Ramshaw is situated on the north flank of the valley of the Fell Burn; the most prominent building on the site is the former farmhouse, now a farmbuilding. The former house is a rectangular block measuring 15.6m by 6.2m externally, with rubble walls c.0.75m thick; the quoins, especially those lower in the wall, are very large. The building, built into a hillside rising northwards so that the ground is only a metre or so below first floor level at the back, is of quite lofty proportions; there are two storeys and formerly an attic. At ground floor level there are three doorways in the south wall; the central one has a chamfered surround and appears to be original, whilst the other two are insertions with alternating block surrounds; above the lintel of the western is a course with a trapezoidal block, either an earlier lintel with a keystone, or a 'keyed supra-lintel' (in either case of 18th century character). The three windows at this level are all of 20th century date. Above the central doorway is a former two-light mullioned window, with its sill reset at a lower level to convert it into a pitching door; immediately to the right is a small square recess which might be a blocked opening but seems more likely to have been the housing for a stone panel with the date and builder's initials. To the west is a chamfered single-light window, now blocked; there is a similar window to the east of the pitching door and, near the east end of the wall, a two-light mullioned window with upright blocks forming its jambs of 18th century character. The rear wall of the building is partially obscured by a recent metal barn; there are three doorways to the first floor of uncertain date, and one original two-light window which has lost its mullion

The east end of the building has traces of what may be a blocked slit vent at basement level, and a blocked chamfered window to the attic; below this a stone with a section of roll moulding is reused in the wall; the west end is concealed by an adjacent farmbuilding but seems to be featureless. Internally the ground floor or basement is divided by two transverse walls, the western carried up the full height of the building. The eastern has a central doorway, now blocked, with a timber lintel; on its west side, just below the present first floor, is a projecting course of slabs which presumably carried the beams of the original floor (probably laid axially in this part). The eastern chamber has a series of rough corbels along the north wall, which presumably carried the ends of transverse beams.

The first floor was full of hay at the time of survey; there is said to be an old fireplace at the east end.

This has been a substantial first floor house of bastle derivative type, of quite reasonable status, with some unusual features such as the cross walls in the basement (if they are original). The building is relatively well preserved and forms a noteworthy feature in the landscape (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY714600
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 2 p. 130