High Silly Hall

Has been described as a Questionable Bastle

There are masonry footings remains

NameHigh Silly Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishAlston Moor

A survey was commissioned prior to the demolition of the farmhouse and construction of a new dwelling. Research found references to 'Silly Hole' from 1611, and more specifically 'High Silly Hole' in 1729, while Census records indicate that it consisted of two houses until at least 1871. The survey identified three phases of development, with surviving elements of the first phase consisting of a former doorway, a small loop window and other windows. Extensive alterations were then conducted in the eighteenth or early-nineteenth century, and following a fire in 1986. Similar properties in the area originated as fortified bastles, and further work was recommended to establish if High Scilly Hall was also originally fortified. (Wooler 2011)

Gatehouse Comments

There is also a Low Silly Hall, at NY720433, also suggested as a possible bastle. There may be some confabulation or confusion between these in historical records. There is also confusion between these two houses on some maps. The High Silly Hole mentioned in 1729 may not have been this building and the Silly Hole mentioned in 1611 is more likely to relate to Low Silly Hall where more certain C17 remain survive. However the general point about C16/C17 farmsteads in the area taking the form of pelehouse type bastle is worth noting. Did the first phase of this building dated back to c. 1600?

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY722433
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  • Wooler, F., 2011, 'Archaeological Projects in Cumbria 2010 - Alston Moor: High Scilly Hall, Alston' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 11 p. 253 online copy