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Berwick Town Wall , Spades Mire and Lord's Mount

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Ditches; Cowgate; Scotsgate; Bell Tower; Shore Gate

In the civil parish of Berwick upon Tweed.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Berwick upon Tweed.

OS Map Grid Reference: NT998524
Latitude 55.77064° Longitude -1.99791°

Berwick Town Wall , Spades Mire and Lord's Mount has been described as a certain Artillery Fort, and also as a certain Urban Defence.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Town Walls commenced by Edward I, with no remains for that period, and then completely remodelled for artillery defence with angle Earthen and stone rampart from 1558 onwards. The Elizabethan ramparts with their bastions, gateways and earthworks survive. Spades Mire is an earthwork linear ditches, possibly forming an outer line of defence for medieval Berwick. Evidence suggests that the earthwork is earlier than the late C13 and early C14 defences of Berwick upon Tweed. The earthwork survives as a pronounced linear ditch 672m long ranging from 10m to 25m wide and from 0.9m to 3m deep. Situated on the south side of the ditch are traces of an accompanying rampart, now much spread and up to 13m wide. The earlier works culminated in the original mediaeval walls, their modifications, and the creation of a citadel between the Great Bulwark and St Nicholas's Tower on the East side of the town. This was to built high enough to command the castle, and was to incorporate 4 angle bastions also mounting artillery. Although constructed, the new modifications to Berwick were inadequate for the all round task of providing defence for the town, and it was realised that a radical solution was required, culminating in the Italianate bastioned trace defences of the Elizabethan period.
The Lord's Mount is a massive curved stone bulwark which was built in the 1540s to protect the town walls at their weakest point. An earth bulwark had been built in front of the medieval bell tower in 1522, overlooking the long bank and ditch in the fields to the north of the walls, later recut and known as 'Spades Mire'. By 1539, however, the bulwark needed to "be made smaller so that fewer men could guard...where the walls were weakest". The construction of Lord's Mount marked a small but significant step in the development of military architecture. It has six vaulted gun casements, each with expense magazines in the side walls, and smoke vents. The sills of the casemates originally had pin holes for swivel guns, which were later replaced by guns on simple carriages. There was once a kitchen here, and the remains of the fireplace can still be seen. The upper floor also has gun embrasures, but it was used principally for accommodation, with an upper gun deck behind a parapet. (Derived from PastScape)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

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