Healey Hall

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

There are no visible remains

NameHealey Hall
Alternative NamesHealy Hall; Hely
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHealey

Robert Ormston (1789-1882) took down the old peel house and, partly on the old foundations, erected the present farmhouse. Illustration of Healey House about 1819 shows an L-shaped building. One wing is of two stories and the other part apparently of two stories and an attic. The drawing is too small for architectural features to be recognised but in one place the wall of the larger wing appears to incorporate a stepped buttress. On the exposed gable of this larger wing is a small battlemented turret, carried either on corbels, or forming a small machicolated projection (Hodgson 1902).

The present hall is modern with no visible traces of the !peel!. Local enquiries revealed no traditions of a tower or the existence of any significant field names. There is no mention of a tower in the Border Surveys of 1415 and 1542. Possibly the 'peel' was the type of fortified house known as a bastle, of which there are many in Northumberland. They probably date from the latter part of the 16th century (F1 EG 31-MAY-1956). (Northumberland HER)

House, 1834 for Robert Ormston, extended in late C19. Ashlar, except for squared stone to rear; slate roofs. Irregular plan. Tudor Gothic style. Entrance (east) front 2 storeys, 3 bays. Plinth, moulded 1st floor string. Central bay has part-glazed door under 4-centred moulded arch in square frame, with hoodmoulded stepped over foiled panel above, and flanking narrow sashes; 12-pane sash window over. Gabled flanking bays set slightly forward have bay windows with paired 12-pane sashes and single 12-pane sashes above. Narrow lancets in gables, which are coped, with finials and elaborate kneelers. All windows in hollow-chamfered surrounds, those on 1st floor with hoodmoulds. Moulded eaves cornice in centre bay. 2 stepped and corniced ridge stacks, with triple conjoined shafts.

Left return shows similar fenestration; central gabled bay, with projecting gabled wing on left

Right return: projecting late C19 gabled wing on right, with 2-storey bay window.

Interior. Re-used C16 or C17 segmental-arched fireplace in former kitchen. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The form of defensible house is unclear but the status of the site and the illustration and history given in Hodgson suggest a large and significant house (perhaps the one rated for 9 chimneys for the hearth tax of 1675). If this was a bastle it was one of the larger grander type (c.f. Doddington Bastle). However it may well have been a solar tower attached to hall block. The omission of the site from the 1415 and 1541 surveys can not be taken as evidence of the absence of such a tower particularly as it may be this was a holding of a knightly status tenant of Knights Hospitallers.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

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 ReferenceNZ004578
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Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 435
  • Pevsner, N. et al, 1992, Buildings of England: Northumberland (London) p. 309
  • Hodgson, John Crawford (ed), 1902, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 6 p. 174-5 online copy