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Stokoe Crags Bastle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Crag Cottages; Graig; Brown Hills

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY75238556
Latitude 55.16374° Longitude -2.39042°

Stokoe Crags Bastle has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.


The fragmentary remains of a bastle are at Stokoe Crags (NY 7585) (Dixon 1972).
Range of buildings on a low ridge running parallel with the valley side. The building at the west end of the range seems to be a remodelled bastle, see the massive quoins at the north east corner; the thinner (0.6m) walling west of these is clearly a later rebuild. This building is 10.35m x 6.42m externally; in its remodelled form it had two cruck trusses (one stub survives). A doorway at the north end of the east wall (square head, lintel and jambs with rounded arris) is probably part of the original bastle, a window on the south part of the remodelling. Phase II extension, 13.4m x 7m to east, with similar bastle-style doorways to a cross-passage at the west end, and a slit vent in the east end, later cross wall. Phase III addition, 7.75m x 5.2m to east, with thinner (0.6m) walls; further building east again, 6.3m long, now only represented by footings of 1.2m thick east end wall.
Complex and very interesting building in a very attractive location. Some clearance of rubble and consolidation would make this a ruin very suitable for interpretation and display if public access could be arranged. Some repair and consolidation urgently required (Ryder, P F 21-JUN-90 Field Investigation).
A 16th or early 17th century bastle house, built of random rubble. The walls stand from about 3 feet to about 8 feet high. Not yet fully described and rather complex. Either a bastle with additional attached fortified outbuildings (ie a fortified longhouse) or a bastle extended to form a two-cell bastle. The basic house to left is about 33 feet by 20 feet with walls about 33 inches thick. In the south wall there is part of a three-light mullioned window. A doorway on the right-hand side has chamfered surround, harr hole and drawbar tunnel. Inside, in the north wall there are channels for crucks, the lower 3 feet of one cruck remains in situ. Attached to the east of this is a second building I bastle-like form about 15 feet by 40 feet, with walls of similar thickness. It has doorways at the west end of both long walls (is in the correct position for a cross passage). In the east wall is a partly blocked, widely splayed gun loop. Fragmentary remains of more buildings, with similar masonry, continue in the same line towards the east (Grundy 1987). (Northumberland HER)

This may be the site called 'Brown Hills' recorded by MacLauchlan in a list of local 'Pele Towers' given to him by an old resident - most of these 'towers' actually were bastles or pele-houses. The 'Brown Hills' site is in a list of sites along the River North Tyne, however Gatehouse has not been able to identify the common 'brown hills' place-name specifically to this site, although it is hilly moorland (and therefore often brown - although that can be said of much of the area), an alternative identification may be Smalesworth Pele.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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