Gatehouse Farm, Tarset

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are masonry footings remains

NameGatehouse Farm, Tarset
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishTarset

Farmhouse and attached outbuildings incorporating probable bastle remains. Both buildings are 19th century but incorporate sections of typical bastle boulder plinth, best seen at the rear (north east) (Ryder, P F 26-JUN-90 Field Investigation).

Boulder plinth may be the survival of a building tradition, yet its position in relation to the two bastles to the south suggests it is an in-situ remnant of an earlier building. The two ranges of bastles appear to have faced each other (Ryder 1990).

Gatehouse Farmhouse is an early 19th century house on a 16th century base. Built of dressed stone with Welsh slate roof. The house is a small two-storey, two-bay cottage, quite pretty with a 20th century porch and windows. Its interest, however, lies in the fact that it quite clearly rests on the foundations of a bastle house. The massive boulder plinth is quite clearly visible front and back. The attached single-storey stable also rests on such a plinth, visible only at the back. Whether the remains indicate two connected bastles or one bastle with contemporary outbuildings it is impossible to say. (Grundy Grade III) (Grundy 1987). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Gatehouse was a complex of five bastles. Gatehouse is recorded by MacLauchlan in a list of local 'Pele Towers' given to him by an old resident - most of these 'towers' actually were bastles or pele-houses. Which of the bastles was the 'Pele' meant by the old resident it is now impossible to guess.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY788889
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  • Ryder, Peter, 2004, 'Towers and bastles in Northumberland National Park' in Frodsham, P., Archaeology in the Northumberland National Park (CBA Research report 136) p. 262-271
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 296-8
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1940, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 15 p. 250-1


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


  • 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
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Bastles and Towers in the Northumberland National Park (Report for Northumberland National Park Authority) p. 40
  • Grundy, J., 1987, The Historic Buildings of the Northumberland National Park TAR3