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Great Ryle Tower

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NU020126
Latitude 55.40737° Longitude -1.96876°

Great Ryle Tower has been described as a probable Pele Tower, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are no visible remains.


Thomas Collingewood is described in the Survey of 1541 as having just built a tower at Great Ryle, and that he is minded to build a barmkin about the same. (Not listed in the Survey of 1415 pp12-20) (Bates 1891)
The site of the tower, mentioned in 1541, is unknown (Dodds 1935)
Great Ryle forms part of the estate of Lord Ravensworth who could give no information regarding the tower.
The present buildings of Great Ryle show no trace of antiquity, and no significant field names appear to have survived (F1 DAD 04-APR-1957). (Northumberland HER)

The large Collingwood family took over in or about 1532. Thomas Collingwood lived in Great Ryle. Thomas plumped for a tower which he lost for a short time in 1549 when it was taken over for mercenaries. In 1587 it was attacked during a daytime raid by Armstrong of Liddesdale. There is no trace of it now and its site is unknown. (Dodds 1999)

A document written in 1541 records that Thomas Collingewood, a local man, had just built a tower at Great Ryle, and that he was thinking of building a barmkin, or enclosure, to surround it. However, the precise site of the tower is unknown. There are no buildings of the right age in the modern village. (Keys to the Past)

The form of Collingwood's 'newly buylded' 'toure' recorded in 1541 is not known but he would have been unlikely to have the funding for a large tower house but the term tower would suggest a building of at least three storeys, possibly a stone vaulted grander bastle house (c.f. Doddington Bastle) although the lack of remains might suggest something somewhat less strong. The location is also lost but the rig and furrow and earthworks of the DMV appear particularly well preserved so, by exclusion, likely to be under a modern building (? the building at NU01851273).
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

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