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Ashcroft Bastle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY78116454
Latitude 54.97508° Longitude -2.34333°

Ashcroft Bastle has been described as a probable Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.


Ashcroft and Ashcroft Farm Cottages. Ashcroft is a farm at Millhouse Grange. Between the 19th century farmhouse and a road running down to the South Tyne are a pair of cottages formed from a range of interesting but much altered bastles and bastle derivative buildings.
The eastern part of the range (Ashcroft Cottage) is the earlier, and is a bastle 9.3m by 6.3m externally, with walls around 1m thick, built of large roughly squared and roughly coursed stone, with quoins of the same size; there is a prominent boulder plinth on the east and south. The original first floor doorway, reduced in size and converted to a window, is set towards the west end of the north wall, and has a square head and a chamfered surround. The only other old features visible are two blocked openings in the east end, a central loop at basement level, and above a square window with a chamfered surround at the south end of the wall. The other openings all date to a rather drastic remodelling c.1960.
The western part of the range, Ashcroft Farm Cottage, is made up of three parts. The first two are in line with Ashcroft Cottage, a 5.2m long extension to the phase I bastle, of similar fabric (phase II), and a second extension 6.5m long and 5.7m wide, of much smaller roughly coursed rubble, with similar quoins (phase III); the walls of this part look a little thinner. The third part is a single storey block running north from the phase II section; it has been heavily modernised but from the character of its quoins and masonry looks of 18th century date.
The only old feature in the phase II bastle is the first floor doorway on the north, at the east end of the wall; it has apparently been of very similar character to that of the phase I section; and has also been converted into a window, but has lost its lintel. On the south of the phase II section there is a small blocked square window near the west end of the wall at basement level, a possible blocked loop above, and a rather larger blocked first floor window with a timber lintel further east. The west end shows a blocked opening of uncertain date at basement level, and two blocked loops, one on either side of the stack, above; on the north traces of one jamb of an earlier opening on the east of the present window are now concealed by ivy.
The interior shows no old features, other than some old (but not necessarily original) transverse beams in both parts of Ashcroft Farm Cottage.
The phase I and phase II bastles are a little unusual in both having their upper doorways on the north; also, the fact that both have upper doorways implies that they were separate houses, despite the rather restricted dimensions of the phase II part. It is not quite clear whether the phase II part is still a bastle, or was made after the building was remodelled as a conventional ground floor house; the two small first floor loops in the west gable are still very much of bastle character, although they might perhaps have been reset (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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