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Burnlaw Farmhouse, Allendale

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: NY790575
Latitude 54.91177° Longitude -2.32782°

Burnlaw Farmhouse, Allendale has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


House, C16 or early C17 bastle remodelled and extended later C17, extended C18, altered C19. Main block rubble with large quoins, extensions rubble, stone dressings, partly rendered. Slate roofs, fish-scale on main block. Front elevation; main block 2 storeys and attics, 3 windows. Central door with dressed stone surround; 16-pane sash windows with slightly projecting sills, except for window above door which is altered 2-light mullioned window. Small attic window beneath eaves has chamfered stone surround. Remains of several blocked mullioned windows. One-bay left extension has 2-light windows with square-section mullions and doorway with wave-moulded jambs and head. Second extension to left has door with alternating jambs; altered windows, some with remains of chamfered surrounds. Ashlar end chimneys, the outer ones corniced, that at junction stepped. Rendered right return has central blocked round-headed door from original bastle house; various C20 windows. Rear wing, 3 storeys and attic. Ground floor doorway has flattened Tudor arch in square frame, lintel inscribed 'T.S. 1662'; and altered 2-light mullioned window. On 1st floor 2 2-light mullioned windows with Cl9 leaded lights and coloured glass margins; two small chamfered- surround windows above. (Listed Building Report 1985)

Burnlaw is a farmhouse incorporating the remains of a bastle house, with 17th century (datestone T.S.1662) and later additions. In the cellar is a small, domestic chapel, which was probably used as a Quaker meeting house (F1 ASP 05-NOV-1956).
Burnlaw Farm lies on the hillside overlooking the confluence of the East and West Allen rivers. The farmhouse shows several interesting phases of development. The original bastle has been quite sizeable, 13.3m by 7.4m externally. The north (downhill) end is rendered, but the central round arched byre doorway is visible as a recess, with some of its megalithic dressings showing through the render. The east side of the house (where the ground level is higher) shows typical elongate roughly shaped bastle quoins, and some original rubble fabric; a patch of later rubble above the northern ground floor window may indicate the position of the original upper door, whilst there appears to be a small slit window, now blocked, above the present door.
Internally, there is a small cellar at the level of the bastle basement; its dimensions are such as to suggest that the walls have been thickened internally when the house was heightened, although there does appear to be a blocked slit vent on the east.
The first addition to the bastle may have been the wing on the west, of two bays and two-and-a-half storeys, forming a T-plan with the earlier building. This does not appear to have been particularly defensible, having, on the north, a ground floor doorway with a flat pointed head within a square frame (the lintel inscribed 'T S 1662') and an adjacent two-light mullioned window; above are two more two-light windows, and smaller chamfered windows to the attic (the top floor is a late 20th century addition).
The main block (the bastle) was itself remodelled in the late 17th or earlier 18th century, being heightened so that its east elevation became of two-and-a-half storeys and five narrow bays, with two-light mullioned windows to the lower floors and a single chamfered window to the attic in the centre bay. Whilst the remains of these windows are not dissimilar to those of the 1662 wing, inside the surviving panelling in the southern ground floor room, and the central closed string stair with its flat splat balusters, look more of early 18th than mid 17th century type. A round headed recess in a small lobby behind the stair may have been a doorway giving access to the first floor of the west wing. In the northern ground floor room of the main block is an 18th century fireplace built beneath an earlier bressumer, which may relate to this phase (or just conceivably, the earlier bastle); it probably carried a firehood.
A single bay house or cottage, of two storeys, and a farm building beyond, also of two storeys but lower, were added on to the south end of the original bastle in the later 18th century. The cottage has a rear (west) outshut; both front and back doors have wave moulded surrounds (the northern ground floor fireplace in the main block has a similar moulding); the cottage still has mullioned windows, and the farmbuilding chamfered windows in the 17th century style, although their tooled and margined dressings are of 18th century character.
In the main block, the southern first floor room has a basket arched fireplace of mid to late 18th century type.
In the early 19th century, perhaps in 1826 (the southern ground floor window formerly had a pane of glass with the scratched inscription 'Somerset Brown Maughan May 8th 1826'), the main block was remodelled with a standard two storey three bay facade, typical of many farmhouses of the period, having 16 pane sash windows and a new central doorway in a dressed stone surround; one of the earlier two-light windows was allowed to survive above the doorway, but lost its mullion. At the end of the century the roof and attic floors were renewed, as documented by a pencilled inscription on a piece of wood stating 'new roof 1894, new garret floor 1895'; the fish scale roof of Welsh slates is presumably of the same date (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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