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 

Kirkwhelpington Vicars Pele

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kirkwhelpington Vicarage, Kyrke Whelpyngton

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY99608442
Latitude 55.15413° Longitude -2.00774°

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

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


A survey of 1541 refers to a 'little' tower at Kirkwhelpington as being in good repair and as being the mansion of the vicarage (Bates 1891).
The remains of the tower are incorporated into the present kitchen of the vicarage the east wall of which is 5 feet thick and rises to a height of 20 feet (Hodgson 1827).
NY 99608442 The Vicarage shows no external traces of antiquity but the wall on the east side of what is now the dining room has a thickness of 1.3m (F1 EG 16-APR-1956).
Kirkwhelpington Vicarage. Grade II listed building. House, formerly a vicarage. 18th century with older core. Largely rebuilt in mid-18th century by Rev William Ellison. Interior has one wall about 5ft thick said to be a remnant of a former tower (Listed Building Report).

Kirkwhelpington Old Vicarage was the former home of Rev John Hodgson where he wrote his County History.
Externally the house appears as a five bay, two storey, block with a rear wing flanked by outshuts. The western two bays appear in fact to represent the tower referred to in 1541 as being 'the mansion of the vicarage' and 'in good repair'. All that visibly survives of the tower is its east wall, now the internal division between the kitchen and the central stair; it is 1.2m thick and rises the full height of the house. No old features are exposed in the wall; it is set at a slightly skew angle to the body of the house, and the jambs of the doorway through it into the kitchen are also set skew.
The front wall of this part of the house is an 18th century rebuild. The north and west walls are only c.0.6m thick, and their fabric is concealed; if they do incorporate pre-18th century masonry they must have been thinned down. Hodgson's History of Northumberland attributes the mid 18th century remodelling to Nathaniel Ellison. The house was extended to the east in 1760, the rear wing added in 1769 and the old tower converted into the kitchen in 1771 (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Although the physical evidence of this being the tower recorded in 1541 is scant the location, next to the church, and the continuity of history as a rectory makes it almost certain this was that tower. It may have been a small freestanding tower but might also have had attached a small hall.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
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.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact