The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Pockerley Pele, Beamish

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Urpeth.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Durham.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ22245455
Latitude 54.88527° Longitude -1.65478°

Pockerley Pele, Beamish has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Pele tower on east return of Pockerley Farmhouse. Pele tower. Probably C15 with later alterations and additions. Coursed rubble with large stones inlower courses; Welsh slate roof. Rectangular plan: 10.3 metres long and 7.3 metres wide. 2 storeys. Raised east gable end has large, roughly-squared quoins, wide segmental relieving arch below gable and 2 later battered buttresses with C20 casement between. South wall has fragment of plinth, similar masonry and a late C19 first-floor sash. North wall, hidden by added narrow outshut, had a blocked 2-light window, with arched heads and hoodmould, on first floor (window may still be behind outshut). West gable end hidden by adjoining farmhouse (q.v.). Steeply-pitched roof with coped east gable. Interior entered via doorway in barn on south. Walls 1.6-metres thick on ground floor and 1.2-metres thick above. Passage with 2 openings on north: roughly- arched opening to mural stairway inside east gable; chamfered round-arched doorway into stone barrel-vaulted chamber with blocked splayed loop at west. Mural stairway to first-floor square-headed doorway. Subdivided upper chamber has 3 cambered ceiling beams of heavy scantling. Main room has wide chamfered fireplace and 2 blocked windows behind cupboards on north wall. Small chamber beyond lath and plaster partition has blocked window with rough shouldered rear arch. Partly reconstructed roof retains many original timbers of heavy scantling with wood pegged joints. 3 similar principal trusses: jowled king posts on tie beams have arched braces to ridge piece; principal rafters halved into re-used cambered collars which are halved into the king posts. 2 intermediate trusses with principals bedded into wall. A rare though altered example of a pele-tower in County Durham which appears to retain a largely original roof structure. (Listed Building Report)

Pockerley Farmhouse, now known as Pockerley Manor, stands on an isolated hilltop on the west side of the valley of the Beamish Burn, 1 km to the north of Beamish Village. Since 1990 the farm has been part of the North of England Open Air Museum. The early-19th century section of the farmhouse has been considerably altered with the re-use of various architectural features inside and out, whilst the attached medieval building has been restored. The roof has been dated to c.1441 by dendrochronology. The medieval building is a rectangular block of two storeys and attics, 10.7 by 7.7m externally, constructed of roughly-squared and roughly-coursed sandstone blocks, with some very large pieces in the lower courses. The only reference to the medieval building in archaeological literature is an 1889 latter by a Mr J. F. Robinson published in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Vol.4 which contains quite a concise description of the structure; the first floor rooms were then occupied by an elderly woman and a young girl. The building had been damaged by mining subsidence, and there was some question as to whether it might be demolished. Pockerley, as a securely-dated and apparently intact medieval building, is a rare and valuable survival. The weight of evidence is certainly in favour of it having been a self-contained defensible house. (Keys to the Past)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
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.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact