West Thornton

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameWest Thornton
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHartburn

NZ 097866: Deserted Medieval Village at Thornton West (MVRG 1963).

Once a considerable village with a chapel, but now reduced to one farm and two cottages (Hodgson 1827).

An area of much disturbed ground with traces of depopulation centred NZ 098867 are the only visible remains (F1 DS 02-OCT-68).

There is little doubt that one of the buildings in West Thornton was a tower, and it was probably where the farmhouse now stands. It had a barmkin, which Hodgson saw in the early 19th century, and it was built about 1338, by, or for, Brother Leonard (Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

West Thorhton, a village, consisting of one farm-house and two cottages, stands on a high ridge, and has rich hanging lands before it sloping towards the Hart, and fronting the south. Formerly it had a chapel in it; and extensive grass grown lines of houses: remains of strong masonry in the stack-yard walls, and great quantities of hewn stone in the fences about it, prove that it was once a considerable village. A field to the east of it has had a strong wall around it. The older of the two cottages has no hewn stones in it; and has plainly been built before the chapel and old manorial house, with its accompaniments of barmkin and park walls, began to be pulled down. Though Gale and Warburton have assigned a Roman origin to this place, I have not been able to find the slightest proof in favour of their conjecture. No Roman antiquities that I could hear of have been found in it, and the hewn stones in the fences about it have nothing Roman in their character. The whole township contains 897 acres, and at present belongs to Messrs Trevelyan and Witham, who inherited it from the Thorntons of Netherwitton. (Hodgson 1827)

Gatehouse Comments

Dodds does not give a source for his comment 'it was built, it is thought, by or for Brother Leonard, an unknown ecclesiastic, in 1338.'

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ098867
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 253
  • Beresford, M. and Hurst, J.G., (eds), 1989, Deserted Medieval Villages (Gloucester) p. 200
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 349
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 171
  • Hodgson, J., 1827, History of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Part 2 Vol. 1 p. 311 online copy


  • 1963, Medieval Village Research Group annual report Vol. 11 App C No 139