Togston Hall

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameTogston Hall
Alternative NamesTogstone
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishTogston

Oldest part of Togston Hall probably a 16th century bastle (re-set '1546' datestone); remodelled 1685, 18th and 20th centuries. 16th/17th century parts large irregular rubble with roughly-shaped quoins. Rear elevation: right part is original bastle with boulder plinth, short west extension and projecting stair wing. Blocked slit at mid-height. Bastle has metre-thick walls and central 17th century door on south with inscribed lintel, now a cupboard (Listed Building Report).

Solitary form bastle, measures 13.4 x 6.7m. Present state - house (Ryder 1990)

The main part of Togston Hall is of late 18th century date, with a handsome front block of ashlar of five by two bays; its architect is unknown but its style is very close to that of houses by William Newton. The front block is linked by a block containing the main staircase and a kitchen to an older house behind. This is a T-plan structure consisting of an east-west block originally 12,8m by 6.7m (lengthened 1.8m to the west in the 18th century) with walls c.0.9m thick and a central wing 5.7m long and 6.3m wide on the north. The older house is of heavy irregular rubble, on a boulder plinth, with large roughly-shaped quoins; the north wing has less 'long' slabs in its fabric. The oldest block retains few original features, except for blocked slit vents at first floor level near the west end of the south wall and at mid wall height near the east end of the north wall. A plan shows another slit at ground floor level, now concealed externally by the east wall of the north wing. The north wing has several windows with chamfered surrounds, of 17th century character, some now blocked. Internally, the oldest block has a large segmental arched fireplace at ground floor level, at the east end and a roof structure with three upper cruck trusses, having collars and carrying two levels of purlins

A former doorway, now a cupboard, in the centre of the south wall (opposite the doorway into the north wing) has a lintel with remains of an inscription, of which the date 1685 is legible.

It would appear that the original east-west block, on the strength of its relatively thick walls, fabric type and slit vents, was a defensible structure. It may be dated by a lintel, now reset above the doorway in the south wall of the outbuilding range adjoining its east end, which bears the incised figures 1546, as well as incised lines simulating the voussoirs of a flat arch and a chamfer stopped against a central 'keystone'. The decoration looks to be of 18th century character, but the figures of the date themselves may be genuine 16th century work; the handful of dated bastles in the county are all post-1600 and this should probably be classed as a strong house.

The 1685 date is probably too late for a defensible building in this part of the county and probably refers to the remodelling when the older block was converted to a conventional ground floor house and the rear wing (housing a stair?) was added. The fireplace and upper cruck roof in the east-west block probably date to this remodelling.

The house is of especial interest in demonstrating the development of a small country house, retaining an earlier generation of building as rear premises when aggrandising in the late 18th century. The front block retains some good contemporary interiors and also of interest are an extensive group of outbuildings to the east (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 ReferenceNU251026
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  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin) p. 532


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 1 Alnwick District p. 45-6
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Bastles and Towers in the Northumberland National Park (Report for Northumberland National Park Authority) p. 11