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Rochester; The Sills

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NT82640045
Latitude 55.29788° Longitude -2.27508°

Rochester; The Sills has been described as a Pele Tower but is rejected as such, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are uncertain remains.


The old peel house at Sills has undergone few alterations; its walls in the lower storey are over five feet thick and the internal area of the building is 33' 7" by 16' 9" (Hodgson 1827).
NY 8264005 The farmhouse at Sills appears to possess no architectural characteristics peculiar to the Pele house. The house is L-shaped and all of one period of construction, in the Investigator's opinion of late probably 17/18c. The walls at ground level are of normal thickness, approx 0.6m. The present owner has not heard of a Pele in connection with Sills. The site however is an excellent defensive position, upon level ground, above the steep-sided ravine of the Sills Burn which lies on the south and west sides, and it commands the valley of this burn to the north. The ground rises gently to the east.
Silloans farmhouse, 150.0m to the NW is of similar construction and probably of the same period as Sills. There is no local knowledge of a Pele (F1 ASP 22-AUG-56). (PastScape)

The description in Hodgson is of a pele housse (i.e. a bastle) not of a pele tower but the archaeological databases record this as a pele tower (a tower house) showing a common failure to understand the varied use of the term pele. The is no reason to doubt Hodgson quite specific description, although the location is not absolutely certain as the current farmhouse. The farm building are now basically the same as shown on the 1st edition six-inch OS map surveyed in 1863. Did Hodgson see a building destroyed before 1863? Have the out buildings of the farm been architecturally examined?
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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