High Rochester North Bastle

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHigh Rochester North Bastle
Alternative NamesRocester; Rose Cottage
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishRochester

Two pele towers built of Roman masonry (Tomlinson 1902).

NY 83259858 and NY 83279865 Plan shows two rectangular buildings, each annotated 'Peel House' (Dodds 1940).

'A' - NY 83279865. A private dwelling house constructed of large roughly hewn stone blocks. The overall measurements of the building are 10.4m x 6.6m with walls 1.2m thick at ground level. There are no traces of the original entrance, windows or access to the upper storey.

Both buildings are situated in a defending and commanding position, similar constructions in this county have been attributed to probably 16th or 17th century and classified as defended houses' or 'strong houses' in purpose. An examination of the building material showed no Roman tooling or evidence of Roman origin (F1 FDC 10-SEP-1956).

'A'. The only remains of the original bastle would appear to be a plinth of large hewn stones along the base of the modern north wall (F3 SA 26-MAY-1977).

Bastle incorporated in Rose Cottage, High Rochester (north bastle). Probable bastle; rectangular building 10.2m x 6.6m. Lower part of north wall of massive blocks, some re-used Roman material, with broad splayed plinth; thickness c.1.1m. South wall of squared and coursed rubble but also appears 0.9m+ thick. Blocked doorway at first floor level in west end, without cut dressings. All other features 19th and 20th century. Interior not seen. Within Roman fort (F4 PFR 05-JUL-1990).

Excavations at High Rochester in advance of laying of essential services to south west bastle in 1981, carried out by Beryl Charlton. Service pipes run along the known Roman roads within the fort of Bremenium, septic tank sited on Via Quintana. Finds and excavation report deposited with Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle University (copy in parish file T40) (Charlton 1981).

Late 16th or early 17th century. Built of random rubble and sqaured Roman stone with Welsh slate roof

This cottage was clearly also a bastle but it something of a puzzle. The exceptionally regular masonry at the rear is interpreted by the RCHME as the only remains of the original bastle. However, it is not typical bastle masonry, while the very thick front wall is in the more usual random rubble of the bastle period. It seems possible that the back wall is in fact a remnant of an earlier building. The front has a 20th century door and windows in 18th or early 19th century openings. The back has a ghastly 20th century window (Grundy 1987). (Northumberland HER)

Cottage. Probably C16 or C17 incorporating medieval masonry, altered C18 or early C19. Random rubble and squared stone, including re-used Roman stones and large squared medieval stones; Welsh slate roof. Two storeys, 2 broad bays with central door. C20 door and sashes in C18 or early C19 openings. Gabled roof with flat coping. Renewed brick end stack and corniced ridge stack. Very large roughly-chamfered plinth to rear.

Walls c.4 ft. thick on ground floor, a little thinner above.

Within the walls of High Rochester Roman Fort. (Listed Building Report)

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 ReferenceNY832988
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


  • Grint, Julia, 2008, Bastles an introduction to the bastle houses of Northumberland (Hexham: Ergo Press) p. 92 (mention)
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 337
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 117 (slight)
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 52
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 360
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 306-7
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E., 1970, Shielings and Bastles (London: HMSO) p. 90
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 150
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1940, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 15 p. 89 (marked on plan)
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Tomlinson, W.W., 1902, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland (London) p. 323


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Bruce, J.C., 1857, 'An account of the excavations of the Roman station of Bremenium' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 1 p. 69- online copy


  • The Archaeological Practice Ltd., 2004, 'Rochester Northumberland an archaeological and historical study of a border township' Northumberland National Park Historic Village Atlas (The Northumberland National Park Authority) online copy
  • Grundy, J., 1987, The Historic Buildings of the Northumberland National Park ROC20
  • Charlton, D.B., 1981, High Rochester Excavations, 1981. Unpublished