High Rochester South West Bastle

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHigh Rochester South West Bastle
Alternative NamesRocester; The Bastle
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).

'B' - NY 83259858. Of similar construction and purpose measuring overall 10.5m x 7.4m, the walls at ground level being 1.5m thick. The original upper storey door - now blocked - is visible in the south wall, the ground floor entrance - in the east wall - has been converted into a window. 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).

'The Bastle' (or south west bastle), High Rochester. Rectangular building 10.5m x 7.4m. Walls 1.5m thick of coursed quite small rubble with larger and irregular quoins and dressings to original openings; neatly squared quoins at west angles and upper part south east corner probably indicate 18th/19th century refacing. Original byre entrance in centre east end, now window, has roll-moulded jambs and 19th century lintel under original relieving arch; blocked slit window above. First floor door on south has similar surround and is also now a window; to right is a blocked slit. Present door (inside 20th century porch) and other windows are early 19th century. Rear elevation shows small first floor window in chamfered surround. Interior: byre doorway has had checks for two doors (one hidden by frame of window); two drawbar tunnels. Within Roman fort (F4 PFR 05-JUL-1990).

Late 16th to early 17th century, built of random rubble with Welsh slate roof. A rarity - a complete and still occupied bastle. The restoration that mad ethis possible has been done with care and the least possible damage. The original ground-floor doorway is blocked in the east gable end

It has the roll-moulded surround typical of bastles in the area and a relieving arch over. The original first floor door survives in part on the south wall. It now contains a window. The other openings are early 19th century with 20th century door and window. On the north wall a tny window with a broadly chamfered surround (Grundy 1987). (Northumberland HER)

Bastlehouse. C16 or early C17, altered late C18 or early C19. Random rubble with Welsh slate roof. Two storeys, 2 bays. C20 glass porch to right. Above porch a sash window in the roll-moulded surround of the original 1st- floor doorway. To left 2 sash windows in alternating-block surrounds. Gabled roof with flat coping and corniced left end stack.

On right return original ground-floor doorway, now a window with roll-moulded jambs, renewed lintel and original relieving arch. To rear chamfered slit window on 1st floor.

Walls c.4 ft. thick. (Listed Building Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceNY832985
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  • Grint, Julia, 2008, Bastles an introduction to the bastle houses of Northumberland (Hexham: Ergo Press) p. 92-3
  • 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)
  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin) p. 550
  • 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. 3
  • 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)
  • Graham, A., 1945-6, 'Notes on Some Northumbrian 'Peles' Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. 80 p. 37-43 online copy
  • 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 ROC19