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Hepple Woodside

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY9699898730
Latitude 55.28270° Longitude -2.04881°

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

There are no visible remains.


A 14th century tower (now ruined) with an extensive mansion added during the 19th century. The mansion was built on the left hand side of the B6341. It was owned by Sir Walter B Riddell, before passing to his widow Lady Alicia Riddell. It then passed to Edward Newton and was demolished in 1970 (Faulkner and Lowery 1996). (Northumberland HER)

Faulkner and Lowery appear to be the only source for the existence of a C14 tower here. The older county historians and castelologists do not mention a tower. Fore instance Dixon, who was certainly interested in towers, knew now to recognise one and knew the area very well, mentions the house as a 'well appointed country seat' but makes no note of an age to the house and certainly doesn't mention a tower.
A transcription of The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5 on the website UK Genealogy Archives reads "Hepple Woodside is the seat of the lord of the manor and principal landowner, and includes the remains of an ancient castle which belonged to the Bardolfs, the Talboyses, and the Ogles. An ancient chapel stood on Kirk Hill, about a quarter of a mile to the W, was destroyed by the moss-troopers, and was completely removed in 1760." This can be compared with the transcription of John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-2, given on the A vision of Britain through Time website, which reads "Hepple House is the seat of Sir Walter Riddell, Bart.; and includes remains of an ancient castle, which belonged to the Bardolfs, the Talboyses, and the Ogles. An ancient chapel stood on Kirk-hill, about of a mile to the W; was destroyed by the moss troopers; and was completely removed in 1760." This suggests there is some confabulation between this site and Hepple Tower where there is a standing C14 tower.
(NB. Kirk Hill at NT975006 is 1160m - i.e. about three quarters of a mile - west of Hepple Tower and 2030m NNE of Woodside)
Walter Riddle, who owned both Hepple Hall and Woodside, appears to spent some considerable money on developing Woodside, which was used as a hunting lodge, and it may well have had some fashionable gothick features.
Further research is required to confirm or dismiss the presence of a medieval tower here although Gatehouse suspects this is an erroneous report based on confabulation with Hepple Tower.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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