Broughthill Bastle

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameBroughthill Bastle
Alternative NamesBoughthill
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishTarset

'To the west (of Burnbank) beyond the Tarset Burn, can be seen high up on the hillside a grey pile of stones, all that it left of the tower at Boughthill' (Dodds 1940).

NY 78738719. The remains of the Pele were indicated to the Investigator by Mr J S Spencer, Greenhaugh Hall, owner of the land.

The site is upon an east facing slope of moorland, and commands the valley of the Tarset Burn to the east and south east. It is overlooked by higher ground to the west. The remains consist of the foundations of a strongly built rectangular building, 10m long by 6.8m wide, with walls 1.2m thick, and a smaller building (probably later) adjacent to the east end, sub-divided into two compartments. The foundations stand to a maximum height of 1.5m, the whole is ruinous (F1 ASP 09-JUL-1956).

Boughthill, ruined bastle. Ruins of a rectangular building c.8.55m x 6.82m with walls 1.2m-1.35m thick, of large roughly-squared blocks. The eastern angles stand to c.1.5m high but the west end and west part of the south wall have gone. Probable doorway position in centre of east end, encumbered with debris. A grassed-over foundation on the south may represent an external stone stair. Footings of a narrower building 11m x 5.7m adjoin the east end, perhaps with a cross-passage adjacent to the bastle. In addition to building on east, there is an oval structure to the south, with two grassed over circular(?) structures. Site could be cleared of fallen debris (F3 PFR 25-JUN-1990). (Northumberland HER)

Boughthill was visited by RCHME in August 1997 during the course of its Kielder SAMs Survey in order to provide a comparison with similar sites recorded during the survey. No measured survey was undertaken.

The remains are those of a bastle to which a farmstead has been added. The dimensions of the bastle are as noted by authority 2. The south-eastern end of the building is poorly preserved having been robbed for its stone

The farmstead is a long rectangular building 4.2m wide internally with two rooms, 2.5m and 6.9m long, within walls 0.9m wide. The smaller of the two rooms is adjacent to the bastle and appears to have been accessed through a doorway from the bastle itself.

Immediately to the south-east and the south-west of the buildings are D-shaped stock enclosures defined by stone and earth banks up to 1.2m high externally, 0.4m high internally. These enclosures are joined to a larger and more extensive field system radiating from the bastle.

'Boughthill on Tarset' is mentioned in 1552 in the Order of the Day Watch for North Tynedale although it is uncertain whether this implies that the bastle had been built by this date (Amy Lax/10-AUG-1997/RCHME: Kielder SAMs Survey). (PastScape)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY787871
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


  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 294
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 357
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 82
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 73
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1940, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 15 p. 249
  • MacLauchlan, H., 1867, Notes not included in the memoirs already published on Roman roads in Northumberland: taken during a survey made by direction of the Duke of Northumberland (London) p. 73n online copy


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

Primary Sources

  • Nicholson, Willaim, 1705, Leges Marchiarum or Border-Laws p. 261 (Order of marches watch in 1552) online copy


  • The Archaeological Practice Ltd., 2004, 'Tarset and Greenhaugh Northumberland an archaeological and historical study of a border township' Northumberland National Park Historic Village Atlas p. 42-3 (slight) (The Northumberland National Park Authority) online copy