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Starsley Pele, Kielder Water

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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: NY70168824
Latitude 55.18743° Longitude -2.47006°

Starsley Pele, Kielder Water has been described as a Pele Tower but is rejected as such, and also as a Bastle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


The remains of a small farm with ruined stone buildings now lies submerged beneath Kielder Water reservoir. When it was first recorded it was suggested a ruined small square stone building might be a pele. Further work in the 1970s, before the site was demolished and flooded, showed that the building was larger with several enclosures nearby, and was most probably a small post-medieval farm. The building did not seem to have been built for defensive reasons, with walls only 0.8m to 1.1m thick. (Keys to the Past)

(NY 70168824) Starsley Pele (remains of) (Forestry Comm 6" and antiquity records).
The apparent remains of a small square stone building with associated garths set in dense afforestation. Apart from one angle, the whole is little more than a overgrown mass of rubble, and it is impossible to tell whether or not the building was of defensive type (F1 RWE 13-AUG-70).
NY 70178825 Starsley Remains of a four-roomed stone building with slight traces of enclosures to the north and south. Surveyed by Society of Antiquities, Newcastle Upon Tyne. No dating evidence (Harbottle and Newman 1973).
The dense afforestation surrounding this site has now been cleared revealing a steading, which appears to have been principally a two-roomed building measuring 13.2m by 6.0m with walls now 2.0m high maximum, with smaller, slighter annexes to the west and east. The wall thicknesses vary between 0.8m and 1.1m and although not of modern origin, the building does not appear to have been erected as a defensive structure. No traces of the enclosures to the north and south mentioned by F1 RWE.
This site now falls within the limits of the Kielder Reservoir Scheme (now under construction) due for completion early 1980's and is due for demolition in the near future (F2 SA 30-MAR-77). (PastScape)

Clearly not a gentry status chamber block tower. However, if this building was of late C16 early C17 date it could have been a modest pele-house type bastle (all other farmsteads of that date in this valley are pele-houses). However it may have been a later successor to the nearby Gordon Walls pele-house, a site which it may be confabulated with in some accounts and to which late medieval early modern references to Starsley may well refer.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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