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 

Blackcleugh Bastle, Allendale

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Black Cleugh

In the civil parish of Allendale.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY83344774
Latitude 54.82431° Longitude -2.26107°

Blackcleugh Bastle, Allendale has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.


Solitary bastle, 10.4 x 6.5m externally, side walls 1m thick. Byre entrance in gable end; first floor beamed ceiling (Ryder 1990).
Blackcleugh is a ruined bastle lying on a ridge adjacent to a small tributary of the Swinhope Burn. There is a roofed 19th century barn nearby but the former farmhouse is in ruins. The old house measures 10.4m by 6.6m externally, with walls of coursed rubble and roughly shaped quoins. The north end is c.1.15m thick, the other walls around 0.85m-0.95m. The off centre doorway and two flanking windows (probably originally of two-lights) in the east wall are probably dated by the '16 WR 95' inscription on the door lintel, as may be the two small chamfered windows at first floor level. However, a blocked basement slit closer to the north end of the wall looks older; there is also a blocked slit in the west wall. The north end has largely fallen, but the clearance of a little debris revealed part of the internal jamb of a doorway set centrally, in the conventional position for a bastle byre door. At first floor level a suggestion of a straight joint above the northern jamb of the present doorway (now bricked up), with an adjacent area of refacing, suggests the remains of a former upper doorway.
Despite the walling material not being all that typical, on balance this is probably a genuine bastle, remodelled in 1695 (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Blackcleugh Bastle comprised a rectangular roofless ruin measuring 10.5m by 6.7m with walls of coursed undressed sandstone and roughly shaped quoins. The building was situated on the south side of a farm track, close to a later 19th century barn and shed. Until recently a pent-roofed shed was built against the south side of the building, but this has since been demolished.
Walls of the bastle measured between 1.2m and 1.3m deep, apart from the south wall, which was slightly less thick at only 1m. These were set on a rough plinth of unshaped boulders. The quoin stones were alternately set at angles and measured up to 0.4m thick and 1m long. On the north side of the building a number of foundations stones marked a rectangular area measuring 4.5m long and between 1.7m and 0.7m wide. This may mark location of a former external stair.
The south wall of the building was the best-preserved being up to 3.2m high. A ground-floor entrance, two ground-floor windows and two first floor windows were visible in this wall. These had been blocked (presumably when the former shed was constructed), the entrance having been used as a storage space. The outer wall surface had also been plastered, masking much of the stonework. A number of timber slots were identified in the wall, which had been used to tie the former shed to the wall of the building. The eastern end of the south wall had suffered damage, due to the collapse of the east wall.
The structural evidence suggests that the original building was a simple two-storey bastle house, comprising a byre with living quarters above. The byre was originally ventilated by slit windows, and entered by a doorway on the east side of the building. A first-floor doorway would have provided access to the living quarters. This may have been located on the north side of the building where a possible external stair has been identified. Bastles were designed to be defensive, and a retractable ladder would have originally been used to reach the upper floor. The external stair may therefore be seen as a later addition. One original window has been identified at first floor level in the south wall. Other windows would have existed but these have been lost. (Railton, 2007)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
    County HER            
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.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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