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High Lovelady Shield

In the civil parish of Alston Moor.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland (Tynedale Liberty).

OS Map Grid Reference: NY758461
Latitude 54.80937° Longitude -2.37721°

High Lovelady Shield has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a certain Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.


Semi-fortified house, probably dating from the late medieval period with mid seventeenth century alterations and additions. Altered again in 1720. A ruin in the late twentieth century. It contains the ruin of a pele tower at its core. (PastScape)

Complex including a possible tower with later bastle.
P. Ryder writes, 'Ruinous house incorporating a small almost square tower...with splayed slit windows. possibly the best example of a "poor man's tower" in the Alston and Allendale areas, but at the time of writing (August 1995) on the point of collapse.' Later extensions on three sides, including a 17th century block on the south which in its initial phase had an extremely steeply-pitched roof (for heather thatch). Inserted mullioned window in the tower has '1691' inscription on the lintel; doorhead in rear outshut dated 1720 (Peter Ryder). (Perriam and Robinson 1998)


Despite having a medieval building at its core and standing to the roofline this ruin does not seem to be either listed or scheduled. It had deteriorated between it first archaeological survey in 1978 and Ryder's survey of 1995 (small of the interior walls had collapsed) and must be continuing to deteriorate.
Gatehouse is uncertain as to what Ryder meant by 'poor man's tower'. This could have been what is known in Scotland as a 'peel' which is a two storey (and attic), clay bonded, house of lower social status that a peel-house, it is unlikely it was a small three storey tower house. It is not clear that the ground floor of either the peel or the C17 extension, which turned the building into a form of peel-house, were used as byres in their original form (the certainly were made residential by 1691).
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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