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Greenhead House, Wall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY91686907
Latitude 55.01610° Longitude -2.13165°

Greenhead House, Wall has been described as a certain Bastle, and also as a certain Urban Defence.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


Bastle house, late C16 or early C17, altered later C17 and C18. Large rubble with dressings; Welsh slate roof with stone slates to rear, one brick stack. 2 storeys, 3 bays, irregular. Left-of-centre renewed door in shallow porch 1631 with low-pitched gable and re-used lintel with relief inscription FEARE GOD IN HART R.K.M.K. Renewed plate-glass sashes, in late C18 openings. Various blocked openings including original byre door with flat-pointed head to left, and first-floor door above porch. Buttress-like projection at far left is part of gable end of earlier house to west. Gables with raised coping; end stacks, that to right rebuilt C20 on old base. Rear outshut C18: doorway with chamfered surround. (Listed Building Report)

Terraced form bastle, with byre entrance and first floor door in long wall. Present state - house (Ryder 1990).
Greenhead House, at the north west corner of the village green, is an altered bastle; the original building has measured c.12.3m by 6.5m, with walls of medium sized rubble with large roughly squared quoins; the side walls are each c.0.9m thick. The west end of the house incorporates the eastern gable end of an earlier and rather lower building, apparently another bastle. The present frontage of the house is of two storeys and three slightly irregular bays. The original byre doorway of the bastle (now blocked) is set at the extreme west end of the south wall, and has a flattened four centred head; the present front door, set a little west of centre, has a shallow gabled stone porch, probably of 19th century date, but reusing as its lintel an earlier slab with the inscription in raised lettering: '1631' over: 'FEARE GOD IN HART R K M K'. On the west of the porch is a blocked chamfered single-light window, and on the east a blocked two-light mullioned window, both apparently of later 17th or early 18th century date; to the east of the 19th century sash window in the eastern bay is what appears to be a blocked slit, possibly an original bastle feature. At first floor level the jambs and sill of the upper doorway of the bastle are visible directly above the present porch, and below the sill of the central first floor sash. To the west of each of the first floor sashes in the end bays are remains of earlier windows, set high in the wall; one retains only the western jamb and sill. It is not clear whether these relate to a former first or second floor. The external face of the west end of the house is in effect the internal face of the east end of the earlier building; the wall is heavily pointed, but a pair of straight joints are visible at its foot, probably the internal jambs of a central doorway; above this is a set-back, at the former first floor level. Both ends of Greenhead House have a raised coping of large trapezoidal blocks; the present gable end chimneys are recent, but the western appears to rise from the base of an older much broader stack. The lower part of the east end of the house is covered by an adjacent farmbuilding and the entire north wall by an added outshut which, to judge from its rear doorway with a narrow chamfered surround, is probably of 18th century date. Internally, the eastern ground floor room has old beams c.0.3m across, which may well be from the original bastle, although their rather wide spacing suggests either that they have been reused or that some have been removed (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

One of a number of strongly built houses and bastles around the original large green, now somewhat encroached upon, of Wall village which, as a group, make the whole village defensible.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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