High Lovelady Shield

Has been described as a Questionable Pele Tower, and also as a Questionable Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHigh Lovelady Shield
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishAlston Moor

Semi-fortified house, probably dating from the late medieval period with mid seventeenth century alterations and additions. Altered again in 1720. A ruin in the late twentieth century. It contains the ruin of a pele tower at its core. (PastScape)

Complex including a possible tower with later bastle.

P. Ryder writes, 'Ruinous house incorporating a small almost square tower...with splayed slit windows. possibly the best example of a "poor man's tower" in the Alston and Allendale areas, but at the time of writing (August 1995) on the point of collapse.' Later extensions on three sides, including a 17th century block on the south which in its initial phase had an extremely steeply-pitched roof (for heather thatch). Inserted mullioned window in the tower has '1691' inscription on the lintel; doorhead in rear outshut dated 1720 (Peter Ryder). (Perriam and Robinson 1998)

Gatehouse Comments

Despite having a medieval building at its core and standing to the roofline this ruin does not seem to be either listed or scheduled. It had deteriorated between it first archaeological survey in 1978 and Ryder's survey of 1995 (small of the interior walls had collapsed) and must be continuing to deteriorate. It is a matter of opinion if the square building at the core of this complex is a small 'poor man's tower house or if it is really better described as a pele-house type bastle of square plan and ?early date (it is not dated and may be C16 or even early C17). It seems to have been of two storeys and not of gentry status which excludes it from being a 'pele tower' by the criteria used in Gatehouse. It is also not clear that the ground floor either of the tower or the C17 extension were used as byres in their original form (the certainly were made residential by 1691)

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY758461
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Steve Jackson. All rights reserved
Copyright Michael Preston and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Jessop, Lucy and Whitfield, Matthew, 2013, Alston Moor, Cumbria: Buildings in a North Pennines landscape (English Heritage) p. 29, 33
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 102 (slight)
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 37 plan
  • Ryder, Peter, 1996, Bastle Houses in the Northern Pennines (Alston: The North Pennines Heritage Trust) p. 21, 22