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 

Upper Denton Vicarage

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Vicars Pele; Old Vicarage

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY61586553
Latitude 54.98290° Longitude -2.60171°

Upper Denton Vicarage has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are major building remains.

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


The two-storey building, measuring 7.0m x 8.3m externally, is in a dilapidated condition, the roof now having fallen in. At ground level the walls are 1.2m thick, but later rebuilding in places at first floor level has reduced the width. The ground floor contains an original doorway with a square head and plain chamfer on the N side, and small splayed window openings in both the E and W walls. At first floor level both E and W walls contain fireplaces, and small window openings, chamfered on the outer faces, high in the gable ends. Other openings in the N and S walls are later insertions. Originally, the building may well have been a vicar's pele. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 DS 27-OCT-71)

Despite the monument's somewhat ruinous appearance, the bastle at Upper Denton survives reasonably well and retains a number of original architectural features. It is one of a number of fortified parsonages in the area but is a rare example in Cumbria of a bastle being utilised for such purposes.
The monument includes a roofless bastle standing two storeys high which is located on level ground at the northern end of Upper Denton village. It is constructed of squared coursed rubble with red sandstone dressings. The walls are approximately 1.2m thick in the lower storey and the building measures c.6m by 4.8m internally. Access to the ground floor of the bastle is through a doorway in the north wall which retains its original chamfered red sandstone jambs and lintel, and a drawbar tunnel for securing the door. Above is a void where the original first floor doorway was situated; it is now a wide aperture with only two jamb stones of the doorway remaining. In the east end wall there is a small vent to the ground floor and above it, on the upper storey, there is a fireplace recess. On either side of the fireplace are traces of recesses which were probably used as cupboards, and in the gable is a small window indicating that the roof space had been used as an attic. The south wall was without openings on its ground floor. The upper floor walling, however, has been rebuilt but part of this has fallen. The west end wall has a small vent in the ground floor and another to the attic in the gable. There are traces of a fireplace on the first floor. The bastle functioned as the vicarage and is one of a number of fortified parsonages in the area. It was latterly utilised as a barn. (Scheduling Report)

The Bastle at Upper Denton (Scheduled Monument 27671). Upper Denton is a small village in northern Cumbria, not far from the Scottish border.The Bastle, a ruined late medieval fortified house, once served as the vicarage for the nearby church. The structure had deteriorated seriously and parts had collapsed. In view of its condition, it was added to the Buildings at Risk Register in 2004. The owners, Mr and Mrs Paludan, commissioned a structural engineer experienced in dealing with historic structures to draw up a specification for repairing the building. Negotiations with English Heritage resulted in an offer to grant aid 80 per cent of the work, as a result of which the Bastle has been repaired and removed from the latest edition of the Register. (English Heritage 2005)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
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