Eltringham House, Prudhoe

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameEltringham House, Prudhoe
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishPrudhoe

House. C16 core, altered and extended late C17 or early C18. Refronted and altered c1790. Further additions and alterations c1880. Ashlar facade and dressings. Large random rubble in older parts, random rubble elsewhere. Welsh slate roof. T-shaped with later C19 additions to both sides of rear wing. Front block has walls c4 feet thick. 2 storeys plus attic. 3-bay front has central 6-panelled door and fanlight with intersecting glazing bars in doorcase with Tuscan columns, and open pediment. Ground floor windows are late C19 canted bays. Central 1st floor window in swept shouldered architrave, other 1st floor windows plain; margined sashes. Ground and 1st floor sill bands and ground floor lintel band. Moulded cornice breaks forward over central window. Plain parapet. 2 dormer windows. Right return has blocked ground-floor doorway, probably a bastle door with rounded jambs and triangular head. Also similar blocked 1st floor doorway and old, roughly-arched wood relieving beam to former fireplace. Rear wing has tall round-arched staircase window with intersecting glazing bars, and flat raised surround with fluted keystone. Rear of house now appears largely late C19. Gabled roofs with steep pitches, flat coping and kneelers to older parts. Stone gable and ridge stacks.

Interior has late C18 stair with finely-moulded handrail and turned newels, six-panelled doors and internal shutters. Roof of old part has curved oak principals with ridge piece and old purlins. The collars were removed in C19 to create attics. (Listed Building Report)

The oldest part of the house is an east-west block facing north, 14.9m by 7.1m externally; the walls are of roughly coursed rubble with large squared quoins, except for the north front which is of tooled ashlar. This block has originally been a rather superior bastle of late 16th or early 17th century date; the original byre and first floor doorways (now blocked) are both in the west gable end

Each has a flat pointed head and a chamfered surround; the dressings have been tooled at some later date so as to resemble coursed masonry. To the south of the upper doorway is another blocked opening (probably an insertion) with a strangely elbowed timber lintel. The east gable end shows three blocked original windows, all quite small (the lowest measures 0.45m by 0.37m within its chamfer) and square headed, with chamfered surrounds. That at basement level is set centrally, but the upper two are placed towards the south end of the wall. In the short length of the north wall of the block exposed to the east of the rear wing there is a small blocked window, without any cut dressings, set between the level of the upper two blocked gable end windows. The bastle appears to have had a lower eaves line and a more steeply pointed roof than the present building; this is most clearly visible at the east end where the present chimney appears to pre-date the remodelling of the roof, although what looks like a corbel beneath it might point to an even older cantilevered stack.

The house was remodelled and enlarged in the late 17th or early 18th century when a rear (south) wing was added, containing a stair and kitchen. This produced an overall T-plan typical of the period. Apart from its basic fabric the wing retains few old features except for the large segmental arched kitchen fireplace. At around the same time, or a little later, the bastle walls were heightened and provided with a coping carried by moulded kneelers, of the same form as those on the wing. A discrepancy in date between these two phases is shown by differences in the roof structure between the front block and wing; both have simple collar beam trusses, but whilst those of the wing have had their collars halved across the faces of the principals, and secured by square headed nails (although the joints at the apex are pegged), those of the front block have had their collars mortised and pegged; the collars have all been cut away, perhaps in the 19th century. The remodelling of the main block may have included the rebuilding of the front wall, which is only 0.8m thick, compared with the more typical bastle thicknesses (1m-1.1m) of the other walls. The house was remodelled again about 100 years later, perhaps c.1790, when the front wall of the main block was again altered, being refaced in tooled ashlar, as an attractive facade with a moulded cornice, a plinth, and sill and first floor bands. A central arched doorway is set between Tuscan columns carrying an open pedimented hood, and the central first floor window has a raised and moulded surround with swept feet. In the rear wing the present staircase, with stick balusters and a ramped and moulded handrail, is probably of the same period, as is the arched stair window with its intersecting glazing bars and archivolt surround. Further alterations and a general refit of internal fittings took place towards the end of the 19th century. Additions of this period include extensions on either side of the rear wing and the ground floor bay windows on the north front, and various dormers (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ073627
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 461


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 2 p. 131-2
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Northumberland Bastles Survey Unpublished p. 9