Cambo Pele

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameCambo Pele
Alternative NamesPost Office
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishWallington Demesne

House of bastle character, C16, converted into shop 1818, minor alterations c.1880. Heavy rubble with large quoins, tooled dressings; stone slate roof. 3 storeys, 2 wide bays. Central double doors; shop front at left has central 12-pane sash between 4-pane sashes, lintel inscribed J.T. (John Trevelyan) 1818; 12-pane sash at right. 1st floor: late C19 sash in left bay with remains of original door to right; renewed 12-pane sash in right bay; small 4-pane casements on 2nd floor. Gables with moulded kneelers and overlapped slab coping, stepped and corniced end stacks. Left return has small window, blocked square window in chamfered surround above and 16-pane sash to 2nd floor. Rear wing in 2 sections; Mid C18 3-storey part (heightened in 1818) has Yorkshire sash set in blocked doorway with chamfered surround, inserted C19 sash above, similar gable. 2-storey part (heightened c.1880) has Yorkshire sashes and similar gable carrying small stepped and corniced stack.

Interior altered, walls c.1.3m thick. The building, although apparently a bastle rather than a tower, appears to have been 3-storeyed from the first. (Listed Building Report)

NZ 02658566 A much-modernised bastle, with walls up to 1.4m thick, now in use as a Post Office and shop (F1 DS 27-AUG-1968).

NZ 026856. Post Office has characteristics of a bastle. Remodelled 1818. Three storeys; random rubble with squared quoins. Measures 24ft 3ins x 35ft 9ins, walls 4ft 6ins thick. Former first floor doorway indicated by four voussoirs of an arch. Other original openings obliterated by remodelling; no original internal arrangements remain (Ramm et al 1970).

Solitary form bastle, measures 10.9 x 7.4m, with walls 1.4m thick. First floor door in long wall. Present state - house (Ryder 1990).

Very small tower, not in a strong position (Long 1967).

A three storeyed house at the east end of the 'model village' of Cambo, in which it is almost certainly the oldest building

The building measures 10.9m by 7.4m externally and is built of heavy rubble with roughly shaped quoins; the walls are c.1.4m thick. The south front is of two bays, with a central doorway. The large window to the west of the door has its lintel inscribed 'J.T.1818'; all the other openings have similar dressings and appear contemporary. A disturbance in the masonry beneath the large window may indicate the position of the original lower doorway; to the east of the window above four inclined blocks in the wall are probably part of the relieving arch above the upper doorway (a large slab below may survive from its eastern jamb). The west gable end has traces of a blocked window set centrally at ground floor level and a small window (with no features of antiquity) further north. At first floor level, set north of centre, is a square window with a chamfered surround, presumably original. There is a similar window directly above, partly obscured by mortar. The upper part of the gable is of coursed stone and seems to have been rebuilt. The stepped coping and chimney stacks on both gables are clearly 19th century work. The exposed section of the north wall shows no features of antiquity. There is a short three-storeyed wing at the east end of the north wall, which appears to be of early 19th century date, incorporating older masonry (probably early 18th century) at ground floor level. The are said to be no features of antiquity internally. In a collection of unpublished drawings by C C Hodges, held in the Society of Antiquaries Library, Newcastle, is a drawing of 1884 of a medieval grave slab carved with a pair of shears, labelled 'Cambo, window head of Post Office'; this slab is no longer visible and may have been plastered over (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Called 'pele' (a term used in a flexible manner by the people of the north, sometimes to the annoyance of academics and pedants) but not a pele tower more a pele-house of three storeys.

- 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
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ026856
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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 55° 9' 55" Longitude -1° 57' 35.54"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 55° 9' 55" Longitude -1° 57' 35.54"

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 55° 9' 55" Longitude -1° 57' 35.54"

View full Sized Image
Copyright Phil Thirkell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

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