The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Scarrow Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Skarrow Hill

In the civil parish of Brampton.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY56946185
Latitude 54.94952° Longitude -2.67375°

Scarrow Hill has been described as a Bastle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are major building remains.

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


House, constructed in 1601; converted to mid C18 coaching inn, and later divided into a pair of cottages, now returned to a single dwelling.
Reasons for Designation
Scarrow Hill is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
Date: securely dated by dendrochronology to 1601, this dwelling clearly falls within the period when there is a presumption in favour of listing;
Rarity: an early and rare example of a thin-walled non-defended dwelling constructed at a time when the established vernacular tradition of the period was the defended thick-walled bastle;
Evolution: an evolved building, that retains significant evidence of its original and subsequent phases and is well documented;
Roof structure: a complete and good quality oak roof structure of high constructional interest with unusual assembly marks and many highly visible apotropaic marks.
The established vernacular tradition between c.1575 and c.1650 in the northern border counties of England was the construction of bastles: small thick-walled farmhouses in which the living quarters are situated above a ground floor byre. They were occupied by middle-rank farmers where the need for such strongly defended farmsteads can be related to the troubled social conditions of the later Middle Ages, which in these border areas lasted until (indeed after) the union of the English and Scottish Crowns in 1603. Although constructed in 1601 in the middle of the bastle building period, Scarrow Hill has thin walls of only 0.62m. Recent research which considers the building in the context of neighbouring contemporary buildings including two bastles and a mill suggests that it may, however, appear to be constructed in the bastle tradition of a dual purpose building; in this case with living accommodation on the first floor above not a byre but, a possible blacksmiths workshop, which utilised the large single original hearth at the west end of the building.
Scarrow Hill is securely dated by dendochronology to 1601; fourteen samples from the roof structure and ground floor ceiling each have a felling date of 1601, considered to represent a single programme of felling. The building was constructed for Gregory Hall, a customary tenant, who established his tenant right before the arrival of the Howard Family at Naworth in 1602. Historical documents both appear to confirm the construction date, and furnish further information regarding the nature of the original building and its subsequent evolution. The earliest known documentary reference to 'Scarrow Hill' is the will of Thomas Hall in 1596, which appears to refer to the intended construction of the new building. However, the first mention of Scarrow Hill that can be securely tied to the present building occurs in the 1603 Gilsland Survey, where the accompanying map states 'Skarrow Hill in Brampton Greg Hall'. Gregory Hall was probably a blacksmith as his probate inventory of 1607 records among his possessions 'tools of Smith's craft' and debtors for 'ironwork wrought'. Naworth estate and household accounts between 1648 and 1660 record Thomas Hall (son of Gregory) as a Smith, and other estate documents from 1675 describe William Hall, Blacksmith. (Listed Building Report)

Scarrow Hill is not a bastle but is included in Gatehouse as a well documented example of a 'bastle derivative' a type of house that is confused with bastle houses in some accounts. It also has some significant remains of a early C17 roof of a type probably common in actual bastle houses.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
    County HER       Listing    
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact