Berwick Town Wall , Spades Mire and Lord's Mount

Has been described as a Certain Artillery Fort, and also as a Certain Urban Defence

There are major building remains

NameBerwick Town Wall , Spades Mire and Lord's Mount
Alternative NamesThe Ditches; Cowgate; Scotsgate; Bell Tower; Shore Gate
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishBerwick upon Tweed

Town Walls commenced by Edward I, with no remains for that period, and then completely remodelled for artillery defence with angle Earthen and stone rampart from 1558 onwards. The Elizabethan ramparts with their bastions, gateways and earthworks survive. Spades Mire is an earthwork linear ditches, possibly forming an outer line of defence for medieval Berwick. Evidence suggests that the earthwork is earlier than the late C13 and early C14 defences of Berwick upon Tweed. The earthwork survives as a pronounced linear ditch 672m long ranging from 10m to 25m wide and from 0.9m to 3m deep. Situated on the south side of the ditch are traces of an accompanying rampart, now much spread and up to 13m wide. The earlier works culminated in the original mediaeval walls, their modifications, and the creation of a citadel between the Great Bulwark and St Nicholas's Tower on the East side of the town. This was to built high enough to command the castle, and was to incorporate 4 angle bastions also mounting artillery. Although constructed, the new modifications to Berwick were inadequate for the all round task of providing defence for the town, and it was realised that a radical solution was required, culminating in the Italianate bastioned trace defences of the Elizabethan period.

The Lord's Mount is a massive curved stone bulwark which was built in the 1540s to protect the town walls at their weakest point. An earth bulwark had been built in front of the medieval bell tower in 1522, overlooking the long bank and ditch in the fields to the north of the walls, later recut and known as 'Spades Mire'. By 1539, however, the bulwark needed to "be made smaller so that fewer men could guard...where the walls were weakest". The construction of Lord's Mount marked a small but significant step in the development of military architecture. It has six vaulted gun casements, each with expense magazines in the side walls, and smoke vents

The sills of the casemates originally had pin holes for swivel guns, which were later replaced by guns on simple carriages. There was once a kitchen here, and the remains of the fireplace can still be seen. The upper floor also has gun embrasures, but it was used principally for accommodation, with an upper gun deck behind a parapet. (Derived from PastScape)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceNT998524
Latitude55.7706413269043
Longitude-1.9979100227356
Eastings399870
Northings652400
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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 30-2
  • Beckensall, Stan, 2010, Coastal Castles of Northumberland (Amberley) p. 9-10, 23-46
  • Geldard, Ed, 2009, Northumberland Strongholds (London: Frances Lincoln) p. 58
  • Purton, P.F., 2010, A History of the Late Medieval Siege: 1200-1500 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 86, 91-2, 114, 124, 132, 296, 398
  • Menuge, Adam and Dewar, Catherine, 2009, Berwick-upon-Tweed Three places, two nations, one town (English Heritage)
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 24, 75, 78, 97, 99, 175, 22, 247, 270
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 176-7
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 12-14
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 (plan) online copy
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 362
  • Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) (London) p. 613-664
  • MacIvor, I., 1981, 'Artillery and major places of strength in the Lothians and the east border, 1513-1542' in Caldwell, H. (ed), Scottish Weapons and Fortifications 1100-1800 (Donald) p. 94-152
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 63-7
  • Barley, M.W., 1975, 'Town Defences in England and Wales after 1066' in Barley (ed) The plans and topography of medieval towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14) p. 57-71 download/view online
  • Turner, H.L., 1971, Town Defences in England and Wales (London) p. 98-9
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 563-571
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 434-42 online copy
  • Scott, 1888, Berwick-upon-Tweed (London) p. 29, 133, 141-2
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 3 (London) p. 343-7 online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Paterson, Caroline, 2000, 'The Bell Tower at Berwick-upon-Tweed' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser5) Vol. 28 p. 163-75
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1981 'Early Artillery Fortifications in England and Wales: a Preliminary Survey and Re-appraisal' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 222-5
  • MacIvor, I., 1976, 'The fortifications, Berwick-upon-Tweed' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 133 p. 182-4
  • MacIvor, I., 1965, 'The Elizabethan Fortifications of Berwick upon Tweed' Antiquaries Journal Vol. 45 p. 64-96
  • White, K.G., 1962-3, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. 96 p. 355-60
  • 1906-8, 'Berwick on Tweed' History of the Berwickshire Naturalist Club Vol. 20 p. 252- online copy
  • Forster, R.H., 1907, 'The Walls of Berwick-upon-Tweed' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 13 p. 89-104 online copy
  • 1857, 'The booke of the circuyte and particuler decayes of the town and castell of Barwicke' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 1 p. 87-94 (early C16 survey) online copy

Guide Books

  • Pattison, P., 2011, Berwick barracks and fortifications (London: English Heritage)
  • Grove, Doreen, 1999, Berwick Barracks and Fortifications (London: English Heritage)
  • MacIvor, Iain, 1990, The fortifications of Berwick-upon-Tweed (London: English Heritage)
  • MacIvor, Iain, 1972, The fortifications of Berwick-upon-Tweed (HMSO)
  • MacIvor, Iain, 1965, The fortifications of Berwick-upon-Tweed (HMSO)

Primary Sources

  • MS British Library Cotton Augustus I. ii. 14 (plan of medieval defences) see British Library for general information
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1313-17) Vol. 2 p. 37, 41, 257 (murage grant) online copy
  • - < >Also see the Gatehouse murage pages for full details of murage [grants > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/murindex.html], [petitions > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/mupindex.html ] and [other such > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/muaindex.html]. < >

Other

  • Northumberland County Council, 2009, 'Berwick-upon-Tweed' Northumberland Extensive Urban Survey doi:10.5284/1000177 [download copy > http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/northumberland_eus_2011/downloads.cfm?REDSQUIDARCHIVES_7_799BB461-A0C4-488C-B90DF1259EFE2DA8&area=Berwick]
  • Dalland, M., 2006, Berwick-upon-Tweed Defences, Evaluation Data Structure Report (Headland Archaeology Ltd: Edinburgh) online copy