A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 

1541 Survey of the East March

This is a selected transcription of the official View of the Castles, Towers, Barmekyns, and Fortresses of the Frontier of the East and Middle Marches, drawn up with great care by Sir Robert Bowes and Sir Ralph Ellerker at the end of the year 1541, as transcribed by Bates. Bates transcribed the document more fully but this transcription only records the specific references to fortifications and not the recommendations for action or parish descriptions in the original. It should be noted that Bates was transcribing a manuscript (The Cotton MS) which was an early copy of the lost original document.

To avoid an overlong list this page covers only the East March, click here for the Middle March.

Name in Margin Description Modern Name
(click to view record)
Tilmowthe ... in yt standeth a pece of an olde tower whiche was casten downe brenghte & defaced by a knyghte1 of Scottes in a warre tyme more than fortye yeres paste. And yet standeth more the half p'te of the vawte & walls of the same tower. The costes of the repayringe whereof ys estemed to amount & entende nere unto one hundred m'ks
Tillmouth Tower
Heaton In the which standeth the ruynous walls of an olde castle lykewyse rased & casten downe by the kinge of Scottes in the warre aforesaid and bothe the said castell and towne br of thinherytaunce of ... Graye of Chyllingham now beinge a chylde wthin age & warde to the kings mats A great p'te of the vawtes & walls of the said castell be yet standinge wthout any fouffes or flores. And the repayringe of the same as yt is estemed well amounte unto two hundreth m'ks or nere thereabouts
Castle Heaton Castle
Cornell The tower of Cornell standing upon the banks of the said ryver of Twede in yt be twelve husdandlandes wel plenyshed and a tower newe embattled cov'ed & put in good reparacon by one Gylbert Swynnowe gentlema' the owener & inherytur of the said tower & towne of Cornell who entendth also as his powers may serve to buylde a barmekyn about the said tower and doth prepare stuffe for the same and the said barmekyn from yt be ons well fynyshed wylbe a greate succor defence & relefe in tymes of warre aswell for thinhabytants of the said towne of Cornell as for other neybours nere adioyninge thereunto
Cornhill Castle
Warke There ys also a castell of the said kings matie of thre wardes whereof the utter most warde s'veth for a barmekyn the said castell ys in greatt & extreme decaye as well by reason that yt was never p'fytely fynyshed nor the walls of the pryncypall tower or doungeon thereof was nev' cov'ed as by occasion of the battrye made upon the utter walls of the same wth greatt orden'nce at the last sege lade thereunto by the duke of Albyony
Wark on Tweed Castle
Carrame Hereyn ys a lytle tower wythout barmekyn or iron gate metely for the defence of thinhabytants of the said towne in a sodenly occurrante skyrmyshe and in tyme of warre they may resorte for theyr relefe to the said castell of Warke
Shidlaw Tower
Downeham Sr Cuthbert Ogle clerke purchased yt & hath buylded thereyne an newe tower as yet but of two house heighte and not fully fenyshed by one house heighte and imbattlements nor not as yet any barmekyn
Downham Tower
Pawston ... one Garrarde Selbye gent. of late purchased this towne and in yt hath buylded a lytle tower wthout a barmekyn not fully fynyshed
Pawston Tower
Hethepole ... thereyn ys a lytle stone house or pyle which ys a greate releyffe to the ten'nts thereof
Hethpool Tower
East Newton At Est Newton2 there ys a lytle towre and a stone house joyned to the same the walls of which stone house ys so lowe that in the laste warres the Scotts wanne the said stone house & sett fyer on yt and had thereby allmost brunte the tower & all The experyence whereof sheweth that yt were expedyente to rase the walls of the said stone house higher and to fortefye the same able for the defence of common skrymyshes This tower ys of th'inherytaunce of the said Will'm Strouther
Kirknewton Tower
Aykeld ... hath in yt a lytle fortelett or bastle house wthout a barmekyn
Akeld Bastle
Wowller The towneshippe of Wouller ... had a lytle towre standynge strongely whiche dyd muche releyve as well the Inhabytants of the same towne as of the two or three vyllages nere adjoyninge thereunto yt stode in a mervelous convenyent place for the defence of the countrye thereaboute And the half of yt ys fallen downe for lacke of reparacons nowe lately this same yere And yt had muche nede to be reedyfyed againe for the defence of all that quarter ffor nere thereby ys the common entree & passage of the Scottes for invadynge this realme or makinge any spoyle in tyme of warre or troubles peace And yt is thought that fourtye pounds would yett repare the ruynes & decayes thereof And yf yt be not shorterly amended yt wyll allwaies in process of tyme fall in gretter decaye and the more chargeable to repare The said towre and muche of the towne ys of th'inherytaunce of the said Mr Graye of Chyllingham now duringe his mynorytie beinge in warde to the kynges matie
Wooler Tower
Yerdle ... hath in yt a bastell house wthout a barmekyn & ys of th'inhertaunce of Thomas Hebburne esqre and Gylbert Scotte
Middleton Hall The towneshippe of Mydleton Hall ... hath in yt two stone house or bastells the one of th'inheritaunce of Robt Rotherforthe & thother of John Rotherforthe
Middleton Hall near Wooler
Langton ... in yt standeth a greatt p'te of the walls of an olde tower whiche was rased casten downe by the kinge of Scotts in a warre time nowe more than xlti yeres paste & by estymacon an hundreth merks would repayre yt agayne and the said tower ys of th'inherytaunce of Erle of Rutland and of Wyll'm Strother gentleman
Lanton Towers
Howtill The towneshippe of Howttyll ... there standeth a greatt parte of the walls of a tower that rased and casten downe in a warre tyme by the Kinge of Scottes more than xlti yeres paste and by estimacon xlli wold repare yt againe yt ys of one John Burrells Inherytaunce
Howtell Tower
Brankstone The towneshippe of Brankestone ... in yt ys a lytle tower wthout a barmekyn which was lykewyse rased by the Scotts and ys newly repared agayne by one John Selby gentleman Inherytour of the said towre
Branxton Tower
Fowberye The Towneshippe of Foweberye ... hath in yt a tower wthout a barmekyn in reasonable good reparacons and is of thinherytaunce of Rychard Fowberye gentleman
Fowberry Tower
Chatton In yt be two lytle towers without barmekyns thone of thinherytaune of the said Richard Fowebery3 and thother ys the mansion of the vyccaredge
Chatton Earls Tower
Chatton Vicars Pele
Twedemouth At Twedemouthe upon the southsyde of the ryver of Twede foranenst Barwyke there ys two lytel towers in reasonable reparacons the one belongeh to the hospytal of Kepeyere within the bysopprycke of Durrysme & thother ys of thinherytaunce of ...
Tweedmouth Towers
Bathers Tower, Spittal
Scrimmerstone At Scrymmerstone upon the sea coste a myle from the said ryver of Twede ys a great olde towre muche decayed for lacke of contynuall necessary reparacons and yt is of thinherytaunce of a gentlewoman that is heyre to John Swynowe & maryed to one Edmund Lawson
Scremerston Tower
Cheswike At Cheswyke but two myles from the said ryver of Twede there ys a lytle tower of the inherytaunce of one Thomas Mannors & others beinge lykewyse in decaye for a lacke of reparacons
Cheswick Tower
Braggarstone At Braggarstone4 beinge thre myles from the said ryver of Twede there standeth against the stronge tower of thinherytaunce of one Thomas Haggarson & yt is in myeserable good reparacons
Haggerston Castle
Ancrofte At Ancrofte two myles from the said ryver of Twede there ys a lytle fortresse standinge nere unto the churche of the saide towne of thinherytaunce of Gray of Chillingham scarely beinge in good repare
Ancroft Church of St Ann
Lawkye A Lawyke foure myles from the said ryver of Twede there is a towre of thinherytaunce of Mr Swynburne of Captheton
Lowick Tower
Byermore At Byermore beynge of lyke dystance from the said ryver of Twede there ys a tower of thinheritance of Mr Muschyens in extreme decaye & almoste ruynous for lacke of reparacions
Barmoor Castle
Berrington At Berryngton beynge thre myles from the said ryver of Twede there was a towre of thinheritance of therle of Rutland wch for lacke of reparacons ys lately fallen to extreme ruyne & decaye
Berrington Tower
Shoreswolde At Shoreswolde but a myle from the said ryver of Twede standeth a pece of a tower that rased & casten downe by the Kinge of Scotts in a tyme of warre xlti yeres & more passed and belongeth to the Colledge of Duresme
Shoreswood Tower
Norrham The castle of Norrham standinge nere unto the said ryver of Tweve belonginge to the byshoppe of Duresme ys in very good state both in reparacons & forteficac'ons well furnyshed & stuffed with artyllery munyc'ons and other necessaries requysyte to the same
Norham Castle
Thornbye At Thornebie5 there is a lytle towre in reasonable good reparac'ons yt standeth within a myle of the said ryver of Twede & ys of thinherytaunce of Sr. Wyll'm Herons heyre
Thornton Tower, Shoreswood
Newbrigging At Newebygginge nere to the said ryver of Twede there ys a towre in reasonable good reparacons of thinherytaunce of George Orde esquier & at a place in the felde of the same towne called the gret hewghe there ys a stronge stone house or bastell newly made by one John Smythe
West Newbiggin
Groat Haugh Bastle
Twisle At Twysle nere unto the said ryver of Twede there ys standinge the walls of an old fortresse or castell rased & caste downe by the Kinge of Scotts in a warre xlti yeres and more since
Twizell Castle
Grindon rigge At Gryndonrygge there ys a lytle tower of thinherytaunce of John Selbye gent. in reasonable good reparac'on and is a myle & a half from the said ryver of Twede
Grindonrigg Tower
Duddo At Duddo there standeth a pece of a towre that was rased & casten down by the Kinge of Scotts in the said warre xlti yeres sence and more and yt is of the inherytaunce of ... Claveringe and twoo myles from the said ryver of Twede
Duddo Tower
Etayle The castell of Etayle beinge of the Erle of Rutlands inherytaunce standeth upon the Est syde of the said ryver of Tyll thre myles from the said ryver of Twede ys for lacke of reparacons in very great decaye & many necessary houses within the same become ruynous & fallen to the ground Yt were muche necessary to be repared for the defence of those borders aswell in tyme of peace as for the receyvinge and lodginge of a garryson of an hundreth men or mo in tyme of warre for whiche purpose that place ys very convenient
Etal Castle
Forde The castell of Forde standinge lykewyse upon the Est syde of the said ryver of Tyll was bronnte by the laste Kinge of Scotts a lytle before he was slayne at Flodden felde some parte thereof hath bene reparalled againe sythence that tyme but the great buyldinges & most necessarye houses resteth ever sythens waste and in decaye the whiche if they were repared were able to receyve and lodge an hundreth & mo horsemen to lye there in garryson in tyme of warre and for that purpose yt is a place muche convenient & standeth well for servyce to be done at any place muche convenient & standeth well for servyce to be done at any place within the said Est marche and ys of thinherytaunce of Sr Will'm Heron's heyres
Ford Castle
Forde There ys also in the same towne a lytle tower which was the mansion of the parsonage of the same & a quarter thereof was casten downe by the last Kinge of Scotts at the tyme aforesaid and Sir Cuthbert Ogle parson of the churche there beganne to reedyfie the same againe & rased the wall thereof two houses highte and there so yt resteth and yt were muche requysite to be fynyshed for defence of that towne
Ford Vicars Pele
Fenton At Fenton lykewyse standinge upon the Est syde of the water of Tyll there ys a grett towre wth barmekyn in great decaye in the rooffe and floores and the walls of the barmekyn wth other necessary houses wthin the same and yt were muche requysyte that yt were kepte in reparations for yt standeth in a very convenient & apte place for lyinge of an hundreth men in garryson in tyme of warre against Scotland and yt is of the inherytaunce of the said Graye of Chyllingham
Fenton Tower
Nesebitt At Nesebytte there was a towre of thinheritaunce of Sir Roger Graye but yt is longe synce for lacke of reparacons decayed & fallen and no fortresse there nowe remayneth
Nesbit Tower
Wetewood At Wetewood there is a lytle towre of thinheritaunce of one ... Wetewood gent. in measurable good rep'acons
Weetwood Hall, Chatton
Horton At Horton there is a greatt towre wth a barmekyn of Sir Roger Grayes Inherytaunce & his chefe house in great decaye for lacke of contynuall reparacons & greatt petye yt were that yt should be suffered to decaye for yt standeth in a very convenient place for the defence of the countrye thereabouts
Horton Castle, Chatton
Holburne At Holburne ys a towre and a barmekyn of thinherytaunce of Thomas Holburne esquier in measurable good rep'acons
Holburn Tower
Heselrigge At Hesellerygge ys a lowe towre wch was never fully fynyshed of thinherytaunce of Thomas Haggarstone esquier kepte in measurable good rep'acons
Hazelrigg Tower

Map of 1541 survey

Footnotes from Bates