Upper Denton Vicarage

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are major building remains

NameUpper Denton Vicarage
Alternative NamesVicars Pele; Old Vicarage
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishUpper Denton

The two-storey building, measuring 7.0m x 8.3m externally, is in a dilapidated condition, the roof now having fallen in. At ground level the walls are 1.2m thick, but later rebuilding in places at first floor level has reduced the width. The ground floor contains an original doorway with a square head and plain chamfer on the N side, and small splayed window openings in both the E and W walls. At first floor level both E and W walls contain fireplaces, and small window openings, chamfered on the outer faces, high in the gable ends. Other openings in the N and S walls are later insertions. Originally, the building may well have been a vicar's pele. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 DS 27-OCT-71)

Despite the monument's somewhat ruinous appearance, the bastle at Upper Denton survives reasonably well and retains a number of original architectural features. It is one of a number of fortified parsonages in the area but is a rare example in Cumbria of a bastle being utilised for such purposes.

The monument includes a roofless bastle standing two storeys high which is located on level ground at the northern end of Upper Denton village. It is constructed of squared coursed rubble with red sandstone dressings. The walls are approximately 1.2m thick in the lower storey and the building measures c.6m by 4.8m internally. Access to the ground floor of the bastle is through a doorway in the north wall which retains its original chamfered red sandstone jambs and lintel, and a drawbar tunnel for securing the door. Above is a void where the original first floor doorway was situated; it is now a wide aperture with only two jamb stones of the doorway remaining. In the east end wall there is a small vent to the ground floor and above it, on the upper storey, there is a fireplace recess

On either side of the fireplace are traces of recesses which were probably used as cupboards, and in the gable is a small window indicating that the roof space had been used as an attic. The south wall was without openings on its ground floor. The upper floor walling, however, has been rebuilt but part of this has fallen. The west end wall has a small vent in the ground floor and another to the attic in the gable. There are traces of a fireplace on the first floor. The bastle functioned as the vicarage and is one of a number of fortified parsonages in the area. It was latterly utilised as a barn. (Scheduling Report)

The Bastle at Upper Denton (Scheduled Monument 27671). Upper Denton is a small village in northern Cumbria, not far from the Scottish border.The Bastle, a ruined late medieval fortified house, once served as the vicarage for the nearby church. The structure had deteriorated seriously and parts had collapsed. In view of its condition, it was added to the Buildings at Risk Register in 2004. The owners, Mr and Mrs Paludan, commissioned a structural engineer experienced in dealing with historic structures to draw up a specification for repairing the building. Negotiations with English Heritage resulted in an offer to grant aid 80 per cent of the work, as a result of which the Bastle has been repaired and removed from the latest edition of the Register. (English Heritage 2005)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceNY615655
Latitude54.9828987121582
Longitude-2.60171008110046
Eastings361580
Northings565530
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • English Heritage, 2005, Heritage Counts The State of the North West's Historic Environment (English Heritage) p. 11 online copy
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 103 (slight)
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 176 (plan)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 96
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E., 1970, Shielings and Bastles (London: HMSO) p. 78-9, no.17
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth) p. 121