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Low Row Bastle, Kirkhaugh

In the civil parish of Knaresdale with Kirkhaugh.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY70135020
Latitude 54.84553° Longitude -2.46659°

Low Row Bastle, Kirkhaugh has been described as a probable Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


House, now byre. Late C17 altered probably in 2nd quarter of C18. Rubble with stone dressings, stone slate roof. 3 storeys, 2 wide bays. Off-centre inserted doorway with overlight between former 2-light chamfered mullioned windows, now blocked. 3-light chamfered mullioned window with old iron bars, and single-light window in chamfered surround, to 1st floor. 2nd floor has 2 single-light windows in chamfered surrounds. The 3-light window and the 2nd floor windows have horizontally-tooled dressings. Left return shows central ground floor door with chamfered surround, with corbels above for former projecting stack. Rear elevation shows central boarded door at 1st floor level with chamfered surround,and chamfer-surround window to left, both with horizontally-tooled dressings. Inserted door to right. Interior; original ground-floor doorway in south wall, now opening into adjacent barn, has chamfered surround and drawbar tunnel. 1st floor has been of stone flags carried on transverse beams, and has C18 fireplaces against end walls.
The house shows some bastle-like features but has relatively thin walls,c.f. Bunkershill and Windy Hall near Alston. (Ramm, McDowall & Mercer,'Shielings and Bastles' HMSO 1970, 74-5). The relatively large ground-floor windows suggest an early basement function other than as a byre. (Listed Building Report)

The old farmhouse is a three storeyed building, facing west and fronting onto the road; attached to the south end is a later farm building. The building, best classed as a bastle derivative house, is in a ruinous condition; it was recently repaired and reroofed, but within the last few months the new roof was destroyed in a gale and the structure is in a parlous condition.
The house measures 11.4m by 6m externally, with walls only 0.62m thick, of rubble with roughly squared quoins of no great size and cut dressings. The original doorway of the ground floor is a square headed opening set centrally in the south end; it has chamfered jambs (with drawbar tunnel on the west) but a renewed lintel. There is another chamfered doorway set centrally in the opposite end wall with a pair of corbels above it that formerly supported a projecting stack later cut back); there is a socket for a removed third corbel above the centre of the door. Towards the centre of the front (west) wall is an inserted doorway, with a projecting moulded canopy or hood which looks like an older piece reused; on either side of it are blocked two-light windows, which again look like insertions. At this level the east wall has a splayed loop near the north end, and a blocked doorway with an infilled recess or wall cupboard alongside at the south end. At first floor level the east wall has a three-light mullioned window, retaining its iron bars, with horizontally tooled dressings; to the south of it is a single-light chamfered window, with larger and more roughly shaped dressings. The west wall has a central doorway, with a chamfered surround and horizontally tooled dressings; a chamfered window, formerly of two lights, to the south has similar dressings; a larger window to the north, without any cut dressings, looks a later insertion.
The only openings at second floor or attic level are two single-light windows on the west, with chamfered surrounds and horizontally tooled dressings.
The interior of the building is in a semi-collapsed state, and close inspection is hazardous. At ground floor level there are three wall cupboards in each end wall. The first floor, which appears to have been of stone slabs set on transverse beams, has fireplaces set on corbelled projections in the centre of each end wall; both have had projecting lintels set on shaped corbels, and both have partly collapsed; the northern fireplace has a wall cupboard on each side, and the southern one on the west. The attic has a fireplace, set towards the west end of the wall, at the north end only; this has a plain square headed opening.
The roof structure has consisted of four bays; the trusses are of collared form, wall posts morticed into the floor beams are halved into the bases of the principal rafters, producing in effect a form of jointed cruck. The central truss has a stud partition, with plastered infill.
The barn attached to the south end of the old farmhouse may be virtually contemporary; there are no cut quoins at the junction of the two buildings. The barn remains roofed and in fair condition, except for a larger modern opening in the south end; there are doorways of 18th century character in both side walls (that on the west blocked). The old farmhouse at Low Row is a good example of a bastle derivative house, showing a number of characteristic bastle features in an 18th century house. The fact that the southern first floor window in the front wall is clearly of older character implies that the openings with horizontally tooled dressings implies either that the house is a structure of c.1700 remodelled in the later 18th century, or a later 18th century building reusing an older window (Ryder 1994-5).
The house has a lintel inscribed with the date 1787 (N Bancroft, 22-FEB-2008). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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