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Bebside Old Hall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ270809
Latitude 55.12266° Longitude -1.57582°

Bebside Old Hall has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a probable Pele Tower.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


As one of the manors that made up the liberty of Tynemouth, Bebside possessed a manorial hall, grange, and demesne farm, and formed an admin and economic centre for the working of the monastic estates.
The Pre-Reformation buildings stood on the south side of the Cowpen road, close to its junction with the road from Horton-Bedlington. Suggestions of the moat that surrounded them are to be found in the disused ditches to the east and south of Bebside Hall, and in a similar depression to the west. Within the enclosure stood the farm buildings as well as the hall, which is mentioned in 1264/5.
In 1551 Ralph Fenwick was tenant of the Grange and meadows, and in 1565 all the monastic lands in Bebside were granted to Haber and Jenkins, from whom they passed to J Ogle, whose descendants remained in possession until the 18th century. The old Hall, of which only a fragment is now remaining, may have dated, in part, from the occupation of the Ogles, it was demolished in 1853 (Craster 1909).
Area centred NZ 27198100. The remains mentioned apparently refer to two large fragments of wall at NZ 27158094 and NZ 27188096.
The former is a length of thick wall containing three niches and is constructed of rough dressed masonry and large unworked blocks of a material resembling pumice stone. The second fragment is constructed of similar materials but is so ruinous that its original form could not be determined. From the materials used and the nature of their construction both of these fragments are considered 'sham' and of no connection with the monastic grange or later Bebside Hall.
To the south and east of the present farm buildings are the remains of a very old wall, probably the precinct wall of the Hall. It is a 'kerb' wall, i.e banked on the inside with a slight ditch on the outside. Similar walls have been encountered in this county, and County Histories attribute them to 17th or 18th centuries. To the west of the farm buildings is a wide shallow ditch but no trace of a wall. Apart from the a/m ditches there are no traces of the moat mentioned in Hadcock.
There are no traces of antiquity to be seen in any of the present farm buildings.
The Grange and Hall have been sited to the area partly contained by the precinct wall and ditch, this area agreeing with the topographical description in Hadcock.
The name 'Bebside North Farm' is incorrectly positioned on OS 6 inch, this farm being situated south of the road. The buildings to the north comprise the modern Bebside Hall and outbuildings (F1 EG 08-APR-1954).
Bebside Hall. Old hall measured 100ft east-west x 40ft. Incorporated an earlier tower in south-west range - thickest masonry. Tower measured 20ft east-west x 30ft north-south. Most of the hall demolished in 1853; farmbuildings on the site are built from its stone (Long 1967).
The old hall may have dated from the time of the Ogles (16th and 17th centuries). It measured about 100 feet long and its eastern end, some 40 feet long and 8 feet tall, was reported still standing at the beginning of the 20th century. The eastern end is described as having two windows with a chamfered head, sill and jambs, and a stone lintel on the inside. The outline of a door opening was also visible. A plan of 1853 showed extra thick walls in the south-west part of the house which led to the suggestion there was an earlier tower at Bebside. It is said to have measured 30 feet north-south by 20 feet east-west. A kitchen wing on the east and stables on the west extended from the main building northwards to the road, enclosing a courtyard measuring 180 feet. The wings had been demolished by the early 20th century and cottages on the site were said to be built from the old materials. The side of the courtyard facing the road contained a pair of gate pillars with moulded capitals with a large ball-finial on top. The ball-finials were thought to have come from other, larger piers. The mansion was occupied until the end of the 18th century and was demolished in 1853 (Craster 1909). (Northumberland HER)

It is not clear whether various earthworks related to a medieval grange of Tynemouth, or are garden features associated with the post-dissolution house. (Pevsner 2002)

Craster appears to suggest the monastic grange was moated and the C16 manor house of the Ogle's was built within that moat. It may be that the C14 grange was moated although the actual physical evidence for that is slight. It is also possible that the grange had a small tower and this was incorporated into the Ogle's house.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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