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Elsdon Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Vicars Pele; Parsonage; Elsden; Elsdon Castle; Turris de Ellysden

In the civil parish of Elsdon.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY93609339
Latitude 55.2338° Longitude -2.1007°

Elsdon Tower has been described as a probable Tower House, and also as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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

Description

Elsdon Tower dates back to C14 or C15 and stands in a strategic position at the entrance to the valley of the Elsdon Burn and commands the valley of the Whiskershiel Burn. The tower was probably built for the Rector of Elsdon and remained a rector's home until about 1960. The tower has been altered in the post-medieval period. It was originally four storeys high, but in C17 the upper three floors were converted into two and decorated in the style of that period. In the basement the original barrel vault survives although it has had windows cut into each end. The walls are extremely thick, with side walls measuring 2.7m thick at ground level and the end walls 1.8m thick. This is a large pele tower and Ryder suggests it may be a C16 rebuilding of ruined C14 tower house.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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