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High Holms Bastle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY920573
Latitude 54.91009° Longitude -2.12506°

High Holms Bastle has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Bastle house, late C16 or early C17. Rubble with large roughly-shaped quoins; slate roof. 2 storeys, 2 bays, irregular. Boarded byre door in chamfered surround in right bay, to left external stone stair to renewed door in similar surround (sill lowered), flanked by C20 windows. Reduced end stacks. Returns show reverse-stepped gable coping, right return with blocked chamfered loop to attic.
Interior: original heavy transverse beams to 1st floor; old roof trusses said to survive. (Listed Building Report)

Solitary form bastle, measures 11.1 x 6.8m externally, with side walls 0.94m thick and end wall 1.2m thick. Byre entrance in long wall. First floor door in long wall. Present state - farm building (Ryder 1990).
A well preserved bastle stands on the north side of the former farmyard; it is a rectangular building aligned approximately east-west and measures c.10.8m by 6.8m externally, over walls of heavy rubble c.1m-1.2m thick.
The square headed byre doorway, with a chamfered surround, is set towards the east end of the south wall; it has a drawbar tunnel in its west jamb and a harr socket in its internal wooden lintel. There is an inserted doorway opposite, in the north wall, and blocked slit vents towards the west end of the south wall and in the centre of the west wall; there is also a blocked recess or vent, rather higher up the wall, in the north wall. A stone external stair leads to the first floor doorway, similar in character to that below (except that its sill seems to have been lowered), set west of centre in the same south wall. Each side of the doorway are quite large windows of no great age; that to the east has recently been given a new surround adapted from a 16th or 17th century fireplace, with a flat pointed head and a moulded surround, formerly part of Lord Gort's collection of architectural pieces. There is a blocked doorway near the centre of the north wall, leading down into an outshut that seems from its masonry to be of early to mid 18th century date. Further west is what appears to be a blocked window (quite a large opening of no great age), visible from inside an adjacent barn; measured survey shows this to lie, very strangely, within the thickness of the west end wall. At attic level there is a blocked chamfered loop in the east gable; each gable is topped by the base of a stone stack. Internally, the first floor is carried by heavy transverse beams, some at least of which seem to be an original. The first floor is now a single room (with plastered walls), but the original fireplace in the west wall has been opened out; it has a heavy timber lintel set forward on a pair of shaped corbels. The roof retains its two original trusses of principal rafter form with collars. This is the best preserved of the Hexhamshire bastles; apart from the loss of its first floor fenestration, it has seen very little alteration; the survival of the first floor fireplace is especially noteworthy. The positioning of both lower and upper doorways in the same side wall is rather unusual but may be a local peculiarity (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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