Ford Parsons Tower

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameFord Parsons Tower
Alternative NamesVicars Pele; Forde
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishFord

Ruined medieval tower house, known as Parson's Tower, situated south west of Ford Castle. It was the home of the local parson and as such was always separate from the nearby castle. The remains comprise the basement stage of a tower built of coursed, squared, sandstone blocks, with chamfered set-back or plinth visible on three sides. The tower is almost square in plan, measuring 10.1m by 10.5m externally, stands about 3.65m high and has walls about 2m thick enclosing a single chamber. Internally, the basement is covered by an east-west barrel vault and many bear masons marks. Various sockets and rooflines can be traced in the stonework externally and are associated with later buildings attached to the tower. These buildings no longer survive. Since the medieval period the tower is reported as having been totally demolished in 1663, rebuilt in 1725 and enlarged in 1825. (PastScape)

Parson's Tower survives in good condition and retains significant medieval remains.

This monument includes the ruined medieval tower house, known as Parson's Tower, situated south west of Ford Castle. It was the home of the local parson and as such was always separate from the nearby castle. The remains comprise the basement stage of a tower built of coursed, squared, sandstone blocks, with chamfered set-back or plinth visible on three sides. The tower is almost square in plan, measuring 10.1m by 10.5m externally, stands about 3.65m high and has walls about 2m thick enclosing a single chamber. The entrance lies in the east wall and gives access to a lobby, with an inner and outer doorway, and to a mural stair (steps built within the thickness of the wall). Internally, the basement is covered by an east-west barrel vault and many stones bear masons' marks. The remains of two small openings, or loops, are visible in the north and south walls, that on the north concealed internally by later thickening of the wall

Various sockets and rooflines can be traced in the stonework externally and are associated with later buildings attached to the tower. These no longer survive. The tower is a Grade II Listed Building. Documents first record a tower at Ford in 1541 and describe its partial destruction by the Scots before Flodden (1513). It was associated with the parsonage and was rebuilt by Sir Cuthbert Ogle, mentioned as rector of Ford in 1516. During the next 300 years the tower is reported as having been totally demolished in 1663, rebuilt in 1725 and enlarged in 1825. (Scheduling Report)

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 ReferenceNT943374
Latitude55.6303482055664
Longitude-2.09073996543884
Eastings394380
Northings637420
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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
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
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Lisa Jarvis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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Books

  • Harrison, Peter, 2004, Castles of God (Woodbridge; Boydell Press) p. 67
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 85
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 57
  • Graham, Frank, 1993, Northumberian Castles Aln, Tweed and Till (Butler Publishing) p. 28
  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin) p. 283-4
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 11
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 334
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 167-8
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 106-7
  • Vickers, Kenneth H. (ed), 1922, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 11 p. 362-3 online copy

Journals

  • Fawcett, R., 1976, 'Ford, Parson's Tower' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 133 p. 192
  • 1891-2, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (ser2) Vol. 5 p. 64-5

Primary Sources

Other

  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 2 Berwick District p. 16-17
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, The Parson's Tower, Ford Unpublished