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 

Old Town Bastles, 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: NY81405821
Latitude 54.91823° Longitude -2.29132°

Old Town Bastles, Allendale has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are major building remains.

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


Range of bastle houses, late C16 or early C17, central section (the present house) rebuilt early C19. House rubble with ashlar dressings, east bastle large rubble, west bastle cyclopean rubble; slate roofs. House 2 storeys, 2 wide bays. Central projecting porch has door with 5 round-headed panels under overlight, and open pedimented gable with heavy moulded kneelers. Left bay has 16-pane sashes in moulded boxes, right bay has ground floor paired casement in lugged raised stone surround with stop chamfers, 16-pane sash in raised stone surround above. Left end stack ashlar, right end stack rendered. Bastle to left 2 storeys, 2 bays, irregular; wall largely rebuilt with various openings including 9-pane fixed window. Bastle to right 2 storeys, 2 bays, irregular, much-patched wall with small windows. Right return, within later outbuilding, shows central byre entrance of bastle with monolithic triangular head. Left return shows central byre entrance with chamfered jambs and lintel. Rear elevation of house rendered, long rear wing not of interest. Bastle to left has boarded door and 9-pane fixed window above, with to left at mid-height a heavy stone spout. Bastle to right has inserted cart entrance; wall rebuilt above first floor level. (Listed Building Report)

Old Town is a farmhouse of a late period of construction built between the remains of two defended houses.
'A' NY81405821. The remains consists of the lower courses of the west wall and part of the north wall, ht. 2.2m. They are now incorporated into an outbuilding adjoining the farm house and used as a garage.
'B' NY 81435820. A two-storied building with rubble walls raised upon foundations of unshaped boulders, the original ground floor doorway in the east end has a Tudor-shaped arch cut out of a massive lintel stone. Similar Defended Houses exist at Gatehouses, (NY 788890) and were dated 'Tudor' (F1 ASP 02-NOV-1956).
Old Town 1: 6.95m wide, side wall 1.05m thick, end wall with byre entrance 1.37m thick. Old Town 2: 6.3m wide, side wall 0.9m thick, end wall with byre entrance 1.05m thick, both with byre doors, now stand at either end of a 19th century farmhouse and their original relationship is unclear (Ryder 1984).
The farmhouse forms the central element of a three part east-west range of buildings 26.2m long, both ends being formed by bastles. The farmhouse itself appears to be an 18th century building, remodelled and heightened in the 19th century; it presumably replaces either a bastle or a pre-bastle house, but does not appear to preserve an early fabric.
The Western Bastle. Only the west end (6.9m wide) and part of the north wall of this (5.7m long) survive, up to first floor level; the upper parts of the walls and the south wall, are of 19th century date, although old quoins, only slightly less massive than those below, appear to have been reused to the full height of the western angles. The walls are of exceptionally massive roughly squared blocks; six courses make up the full height; the cyclopean nature of the masonry has led to it traditionally being identified as a Roman structure. The west wall is 1.3m thick and the north wall 1m. The only surviving feature is the byre doorway, set centrally in the west end; this has a plain square head, and massive dressings, with a narrow chamfer to both jambs and head. The doorway is now blocked, its rear arch having been converted into a fireplace.
The Eastern Bastle. This is better preserved and appears to have measured 7.9m by 6.3m externally; it seems likely that its west wall is incorporated in the east wall of the present farmhouse. The bastle walls are constructed of courses of larger roughly shaped stone alternating with small coursed rubble, a mixture of fabric types suggesting that material was being reused from an earlier building; there are large roughly shaped quoins and dressings. The side walls are 0.85m thick and the east end 1m. The byre doorway is set centrally in the east end and has a flattened triangular head. Small windows towards each end of the south wall both appear to be enlarged slit vents; internally, there is an area of disturbed masonry in the centre of the west wall, which may mark an earlier door position. At first floor level there is a blocked slit in the centre of the east gable; a ragged joint west of centre in the south wall may mark the western jamb of the upper doorway. A projecting spout towards the west end of the north wall marks the position of a sink or slopstone. A small blocked slit near the top of the east gable implies the existence of an attic or sleeping loft (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Bastle 6.95m wide with walls 1.05 and 1.4m thick and bastle II 6.35 m wide with walls c. 1.0 m thick stand at opposite ends of what is now a nineteenth-century farmhouse, which probably replaces a third bastle. Bastle I has extraordinarily megalithic masonry, giving rise to a local tradition of Roman origin (Ramm et al. 1970, 81) (Ryder 1992)
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 09:21:27

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