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Greenchester Pele, Otterburn

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Holt

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY87159446
Latitude 55.24415° Longitude -2.20370°

Greenchester Pele, Otterburn has been described as a probable Pele Tower, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are no visible remains.


The deserted medieval village of Greenchester is visible here as earthworks. Documents written in 1728 mention the ruins of a pele tower at this location, although no remains of this building have been found. (Keys to the Past)

There has been an old tower of the usual kind (pele) at Greenchester. The present village of half a dozen cottages stands on the high ground (Horsley 1728-9; Clarke).
The only remains (presumably of Greenchester) are the turf-covered foundations of a single range of buildings at NY 87159446. These appear to represent the site of one or two cottages with an associated garth and circular pond. Nothing about the foundations suggests the former existence of a tower, neither do they merit the title of 'village', although remains may have been more extensive in Horsley's time (F1 RE 17-NOV-70). (PastScape)

It may well be that, at this location, the old 'pele' was a pele-house (i.e. a bastle) rather than a gentry status pele tower. What were the actual words written by Horsley? Did he use the term 'tower' or is that a later assumption? What was Horsley source? Did that source use the term 'tower' or did Horsley assume 'pele' meant tower?
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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