The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Shilburnhaugh pele, Kielder Water

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Shilburn Haugh

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY693871
Latitude 55.17826° Longitude -2.47614°

Shilburnhaugh pele, Kielder Water has been described as a probable Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.


Old building is mentioned in a survey made in about 1715. It was thought that this might have been a pele tower but no old remains have been found at the present farmhouse or its surroundings. A nearby hill is called Tower Knowe but no trace of a tower was seen here either. (Keys to the Past)

Pele at Shilburnhaugh (Hadcock 1939).
A survey of c1715 refers to "an old pile" at Shilburnhaugh (Hodgson 1916).
Situated in a narrow valley Shilburnhaugh is overlooked by higher ground from all directions and would have been a very poor defensive site. No evidence of antiquity is present in the farmhouse, its outbuildings or surrounding walls, and Mr Davidson the tenant farmer has no knowledge of a Pele at the place (F1 DAD 03-AUG-56).
The adjacent hill Tower Knowe was perambulated, but nothing to indicate the site of a Pele was seen (F1 FDC 21-AUG-56).
John Warburton noted an old pile at Shilburnhaugh belonging to one Robson. The site is now under Kielder Water (Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

Warburton's list was not one exclusively of defensive structures and his terminology in the list is not consistent. He uses 'pile' and 'tower' seemingly interchangeably and 'pile' can seem to refer to buildings of varying size. However he is generally unconcerned with pele-house bastles so this 'pile' probably was a pele tower (a small chamber or solar block attached to an unfortified hall).
The valley of the Whickhope Burn was fairly narrow but Shilburnhaugh was at the mouth of this Burn as it joined the River North Tyne where a relatively wide flood plain must have provided a fairly good meadow making this spot rich enough for a small gentry house. With regard to 'defensive' quality the probably location would dominate a ford of the River North Tyne and is, therefore, arguably of strategic value.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact