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 

Greystead; The Bower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Bowre; Boure; "A peel on Chirdon Burn'

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: NY75678325
Latitude 55.14309° Longitude -2.38284°

Greystead; The Bower has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are no visible remains.


In a survey of about 1715 the Bower is referred to together with an 'ancient pile'. The Bower is recorded as early as 1524 when it belonged to Hector Charlton, but the buildings there today are much more recent. There are no traces of a medieval tower in or around the present buildings. (Keys to the Past)

A survey of c.1715 refers to: "The Bowre and ancient pile on ye north side ye River Cherdon" (Hodgson 1916).
There are still fragments of a rude pele tower (Dodds 1940).
The Border Survey of 1604 lists a house and outhouse at the Bower (NT 75678325) (Sanderson 1891).
The 'Boure' or 'Bower' in 1524 was in the possession of Hector Charlton. In 1715 it belonged to William Charlton (Tomlinson 1902).
Bower is a modern farmhouse with outbuildings, situated upon a grassy rise, between the Eals Cleugh to the N, and the Chirdon Burn to the S, and a little W of their confluence. The site is an excellent one for a Pele, being placed centrally in the valley, commanding it to the east and west, and the slopes to high ground to the north and south.
There are no traces of a pele to be seen in or around the present buildings.
The farmhouse is the property of the Forestry Commission. Mr J G Straughan, Forester, has no knowledge of a Pele formerly at Bower (F1 ASP 20-JUL-56).
The 'Bowrie Charltons' were a scion of the Charlton family, and infamous for their reiving from the late 15th century until the mid 18th century. This pele or bastle was their major strongplace from which they raided their neighbours. Although they moved to Redesdale in the early 18th century, they retained The Bower for 'business purposes'. The tower was pulled down in the late 18th century (Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

This was almost certainly a pele-house (i.e. Bastle) rather than a pele tower. This is certainly what is shown in Hodgson's sketch of 1835 of 'A peel on Chirdon Burn' where cattle are shown exiting the ground floor of the building. Like most such farmhouses it is situated near to a water supply and in the middle of a agricultural estate.
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