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Ingram Vicars Pele

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ingram Parsonage; Inggeram; Inggerram; Ingrame; Lumphaugh

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NU019164
Latitude 55.44040° Longitude -1.97190°

Ingram Vicars Pele has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.


A towerhouse is recorded at Ingram by a number of 16th century sources. The sources are evenly distributed throughout that century, beginning with the reference to the proposed stationing of troops at Ingram in 1509.
The subsequent mention of a garrison of 60 soldiers being 'laid in' Ingram, in 1523, probably again implies that George, Lord Ogle's 'hold' was being used to accommodate these troops.
Most of the individuals named as having agreed to provide board for the soldiers in the Coquetdale, Alndale and Breamish Valley settlements listed in Lord Dacre's ledger book, were evidently men and women of relatively moderate means – probably just local freeholders rather than members of the gentry or nobility. The soldiers were probably billeted in their homes or outbuildings.
George Ogle, who took responsibility for boarding the garrison at Ingram, was rather different. He was presumably a kinsman of Robert, lord Ogle, perhaps the younger brother of the same name who figures in the lineage's genealogies (Ogle 1902, 60, 160-1), and may therefore have been granted the use of the tower and lands at Ingram at this time. It would explain why he had agreed to board such a relatively large number of troops at Ingram if he had a tower at his disposal in which to accommodate them.
A fuller description of the building is provided by Bowes and Ellerker in their 'view and survey' of the borders of the East and Middle Marches in 1541 who refer to it as a little tower 'with a roof which had 'fallen in great decay' for lack of continual necessary repairs. At this time the building was functioning as 'the mansion of the parsonage', i.e. it was the residence of the rector of the parish church rather than one of the three manorial lords. This might seem to contradict the earlier references which implied the tower was held by the Ogles. However it does not seem likely that there were ever two towers at Ingram in the 16th century.
Lord Ogle never resided in the tower, which was specifically said to be uninhabited in 1509. Two members of the Ogle lineage held the position of rector in the early 16th century (see (NCH XIV (1935), 461), including, in 1532, Cuthbert Ogle who had been granted the Ogle third of the manor, with the advowson (the attendant right to nominate the rector) in 1526. In these circumstances it easy to see how the tower could have become associated with the parsonage - being used as the Ogle rector's residence whenever he was present in the parish - particularly as Cuthbert Ogle, the owner of the tower after 1526 and one-time rector, was still alive at the time of Bowes and Ellerker's survey.
Towards the end of the century, Ingram was depicted on Christopher Dacre's plat or plan of the castles, towers and townships along 'the plenished ringe of the borders', which marked the line of his proposed defensive frontier 'dyke' (PRO MPF 284; reproduced in Bates 1891, between pages 78 and 79; and Long 1967, facing p. 186, cf. p. 47). Although the site is not labelled Ingram tower, a tower is depicted schematically, in addition to a collection of houses implying an inhabited village township, again a purely schematic symbol. This would suggest the tower was still serviceable in 1584, despite Bowes and Ellerker's gloomy comments in 1541. A century and a half later, in 1734, George Mark observed 'the remains of an old tower called Lumphaugh, at the distance of a pistol shot from the church' (Hodgson Hinde 1869, 82).
As regards its date of construction, the tower or hold had evidently been erected by 1509, when it is first recorded. It does not, however, figure in the list of border fortifications compiled for Henry V, prior to his embarkation for France in 1415 (cf. Bates 1891, 12-20), implying that it was built later in the 15th century or perhaps at the very beginning of the 16th century.
No trace of the tower survives today and its precise location is uncertain. The fact that it was serving as the parsonage in 1541 might be a consequence of the tower's history of ownership, specifically its transference from main Ogle baronial line to a member of another, less senior, branch of the lineage, who at least temporarily held the rectory of Ingram, as noted above.
However George Mark's comment that the old tower of Lumphaugh was located at a pistol shot's distance from the church would imply that it was situated fairly close to the church, as was the case with the vicars' towers at Alnham, Corbridge and Elsdon, for instance. It may even have occupied the site of the present parsonage. (Northumberland National Park)

A tower is mentioned c.1514 as large enough to contain a garrison of 40 men. It belonged to Lord Ogle and was then uninhabited. The tower has now disappeared. The commissioners of 1541 stated that the waters of the river were wearing away the banks, and in course of time would very likely wear away both the town of Ingram and the tower (Dodds 1935).
NU 019164 Reference to the tower as the 'mansion house of the parsonage' would indicate that it stood somewhere near the church. The flood plain of the Breamish is immediately north of the church and the mention of the possibility of the river wearing away the tower suggests that the tower stood in this area. There are no visible remains (F1 DAD 17-APR-1957). (Northumberland HER)

Although this tower soon became a parsonage it started as a manor house. The 1509 proposed garrison of 40 men is the same as suggested for Ford Castle. However, the description of it, in 1541, as a 'lytle toure' may suggest a solar tower attached to an unfortified hall rather than an integral tower house. Exact location lost but either just north of the church, and possibly destroyed by a change of river course, or under the current 'Old Rectory'.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

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