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Hesleyside Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY81618372
Latitude 55.14752° Longitude -2.29042°

Hesleyside Tower has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are masonry footings remains.

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


Country house, originally incorporating an earlier house and a pele tower, probably built in the early C14, documented in 1537 and 1541. A house was attached to the east side of this tower in C17. The house was rebuilt in 1719, but the core of the earlier house is thought to survive within the present building. Additions to the house include the east front which was built in 1796. Alterations were carried out in the late C18, the mid C19 and C20. The building is constructed of ashlar with Lakeland slate roofs and is a courtyard house of three storeys. The pele tower was pulled down in the early C19 and the material used to build a stable. The stables have since been demolished in turn. (PastScape)

The house and tower at Hesleyside is mentioned in 1537. The tower stood to the east of the present mansion and was pulled down in the early 19th c.
In 1541 the tower is mentioned as being in the inheritance of " .... Charleton sonne to Edward Charleton deceased". To the east side of the tower was added a 17th cent wing believed to have been built in 1631. In 1719 this wing was reconstructed but the core of the earlier building is believed to remain. Other alterations and building took place in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The present building is quadrangular with the work of 1719 on the south side (Dodds 1940).
The oldest portion of the present house is the south front which is Queen Anne (prob the 1719 rebuilding refd to by Dodds), the
remainder that been constructed and reconstructed from the 18c.-20c. inclusive.
'A' NY 81588371. The Pele tower was situated slightly to the west of the house (now an ornamental garden) it was taken down in the 19thc., and the material used to construct a stable, the stable itself has now been demolished and the material spread. Deeds of property mention the Pele, its site, and demolition (F1 WDC 06-JUL-56).
The Charlton family built a tower at South Charlton in the early 14th century, naming the new tower Hesleyside. Edward Charlton is the first recorded resident there in 1343. It was a substantial building, for in 1525 it garrisoned 50 men who drove off a Scottish raiding party. In 1540 it was described as a massive square building with a collection of dwellings about it. The transformation into the present Hesleyside Hall began in 1631. The pele tower survived until the 1796 reconstruction when it was pulled down (King 1983; Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

Although quite a large house, though able to hold a garrison of 50 horsemen, it does seem the form of the house was a solar or chamber block attached to a hall. The Charlton's were are important gentry family but not of baronial status.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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