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Ryal Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ryal near Stamfordham; Ryall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ01317430
Latitude 55.06317° Longitude -1.98098°

Ryal Tower has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


The tower of Ryal is mentioned in a grant of 28th May, 1519. This is the only reference (Dodds 1926).
Local tradition sites the tower to a slight platform at NZ 01317430. This is in an area of population shrinkage and is probably only a minor building steading (F1 DS 31-JUL-1968).
Ryal Tower. Site uncertain, must have stood on the hill top with the church and small village (Long 1967). (Northumberland HER)

John Fenwick, was given Ryal as a wedding present, and it is this marriage contract that contains the only mention of a tower in the place. The property descended through the Blacketts and Travelyans inWallington style, but never again was there a hint about Ryal's defences. There is nothing on the ground or on paper to prove its existence. (Dodds 1999)

There must have been a house at Ryal and it may be this did have a small solar block of private chambers although it may just have been two storeys. Certainly the lack of any other mention does suggest whatever was at Ryal can hardly have been considered a fortification in any meaningful sense.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

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