Stable Cottages, Wall

Has been described as a Possible Bastle, and also as a Possible Urban Defence

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameStable Cottages, Wall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishWall

Possible bastle of uncertain form. Walls 0.9m thick, with first floor door in long wall. Present state - house (Ryder 1990).

The older part of Stable Cottage forms the central part of what was formerly a row of three cottages to the south west of St George's Church. Stable cottage has recently been linked to the western cottage to form a single dwelling. The old part of Stable Cottage is a bastle of slightly trapezoidal plan, 9.8m by 6.3m externally. The walling is of rubble with large roughly squared quoins; the front wall is c.0.9m thick and the end walls c.1m thick, although the north wall (possibly thinned or rebuilt?) is only 0.7m. The front wall retains both its original doorways, although the present windows are of 19th century date. The byre doorway, set more or less centrally, has a chamfered surround; its head is now square, but the manner in which this is cut up into the soffit of the lintel shows that the present form is a modification; quite possibly the original head was flat pointed, like that of the upper doorway, off set slightly to the east, which remains intact but blocked up (internally its recess serves as a wall cupboard). Traces of a possible original window are visible to the east of the eastern first floor window. Both gables had a raised coping of large trapezoidal blocks. The lower parts of the end walls are covered by adjacent cottages and the majority of the rear elevation by a later outshut. Internally a few old features are exposed; both ground floor rooms have some heavy and irregular transverse ceiling beams, possibly reset. At first floor level there is a heavy ceiling beam, neatly cambered and chamfered, just short of the east end. At attic level it can be seen that this carried the front of a stone flue or hood, part of one side wall of which remains (presumably carried by a trimmer spanning the gap between the end wall and the beam); the present stone stack is set further back

There is also an internal stone flue running up the inside of the east gable; at attic level this has been patched in brick, possibly the result of the removal of a fireplace. There is a local tradition that there were fireplaces in the attic, which is said to have served as a hideout for a Jacobite refugee in the later 17th century. The roof structure is of three bays, with two principal rafter trusses, which may be original; the western has a notched in collar. The lower parts of the tie beams are exposed as ceiling beams at first floor level (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

One of a number of strongly built houses and bastles around the original large green, now somewhat encroached upon, of Wall village which, as a group, make the whole village defensible. The southern boundary of the medieval village green is a bit unclear. This building may have stood within the green.

- Philip Davis

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
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY917690
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  • Grint, Julia, 2008, Bastles an introduction to the bastle houses of Northumberland (Hexham: Ergo Press) p. 137-45
  • 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. 353


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


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 2 p. 152
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Northumberland Bastles Survey Unpublished p. 11