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Report of the Commissioners on the Borders 1584

This list is from Bates's transcription of Report of the Commissioners on the Borders (1584) under Lord Hunsdon; largely the work of Christopher Dacre. Printed in Bates, p. 69-80. This transcription of the list covers just the existing fortifications in the Commissioners report and not the recommendations for new fortresses and a border dyke.

Name in report Modern Name
(click to view record)
Text of report Cost of repair modern english
Dunstonbourghe Castell Dunstanburgh Castle This castle of fortresse we the said commissioners doe thinck not so needful to be repaired nor so necessarye as other for defence of the country or annoance againstes the enemyes of the opposit border of Scotland because the same is so farr distant from the sayd border of Scotland and yet a howse of verye great force and strength if it be thought gude by her majestye for any other respect towchinge the sea coostes or otherwise to be repaired, the chardges of which reparacion as it hath bene before we esteeme to a thousande pounde, or if her majestye thinke good to make of the same a sufficent fortresse for receite of a guarrison of one hundreth horsemen or footmen and no more we esteeme the chardges of the same to foure hundreth poundes. 1000li as it hathe bene before or 400li for a guarrison of c. men. 1000 to restore or 400 to make a garrison for 100 men.
Bambourghe Castell Bamburgh Castle Bambourghe Castle belonginge to her majestye standinge upon the sea cooste about xij myle southe and by east from Barwicke and xij myles from the nearest parte of the border of Scotland decaied for want of repairinge by longe contynuance as aforesayd.

This castle or fortresse we in oure opinyons doe thinck of in everye respect as to the castle of Dunstonebourghe we have before declared savinge that we esteeme the charges of the repairinge of the same as it hath bene before to eight hundrethe poundes, or to foure hundreth poundes to make a sufficyent place of strengthe and receit for a guarrison of one hundrethe horsemen or footmen if to her majestye it seems so needfull and convenient.
800li as it hathe bene before, or 400li for a guarrison of c. men 800 to restore or 400 to make a garrison for 100 men.
Shorswoode Towre Shoreswood Tower

Shorsewoode Towre belonginge to the decane and chapter of Duresme standinge neere Tweede about two myles west and by south from Berwick within a myle and a half of the border of Scotland decaied by warres and partlye by meanes as aforesayd but by whome to be repaired we cannot learne otherwise then either by her majestye in respect to have the use of the same in tymes of service, or by the Lords and owners.

This towne or fortresse we doe thincke a verye fitte and convenient place as well to defend the countrye as annoye the enemye upon the opposite border if it were repared the charges of which reparacions we esteem to two hundreth and fortye pounds.

240li 240
Norham Castell Norham Castle

Norham Castle belonginge to the bishoppe of Duresme standinge upon the same river of Tweed about two myles west and by south from Shorswoode aforesaid and hard adjoininge to the border of Scotland decaied by want of reparacion of long contynuance but whether to be repaired by her majestye or the said bishoppe of Duresme we cannot certainly understand because it seemeth to be a matter in question and therefore doe referr the same to youre honorabil consideracyons.

This castle or fortresse we doe thincke to be one of the most fit places to be repared for the cause and consideracions aforesaid the charges of which reparacion with the five decaied turrettesupon the wall of the utter ward as the same hath bene before we esteeme to a thousand two hundreth pounde and without the same five turrettes which we thinck not gretly needfull to eight hundreth pound which we referr to her majestie and your honorabill consideracions.

1200li with the five turrettes or 800li without the turrettes 1200 with five turrets or 800 without the turrets
Heton Castell Castle Heaton Castle

Heton Castle belonginge to Sir Thomas Gray standinge about a myle from the said water of Tweed and the border of Scotland and about two myles west and by south of Norham, decaied by warrs and by means aforesaid, but by whome to be repared we cannot learne, otherwise then either by her majestye in respect to have the use of the same in service or by the lord and owner of the same.

This castle of fortresse we doe thinck a verye fit and convenient place to defend the countrye and annoye the enemye as aforesaid if it were repaired the charges of which reparacion we esteeme as it hath bene before to fyve hundreth thre score pound or to thre hundreth pounde to make it sufficient for a guarrison of l. horsemen.

560li as it were before, or 300li for l. horsemen 560 to restore or 300 for 50 horsemen.
Cornell Towre Cornhill Castle

Cornell Towre belonginge to Thomas Swynney gentleman, standing nere to Tweed upon the border of Scotland about amyle west and by south of Heton aforesaid decaied by Warres of late tyme, by whom to be repared we cannot learne otherwise then as aforesaid.

This towre or fortresse we also do thinck a veryefit and convenient place for the consideracions as aforesaid if it were repared the charges of which reparacions as before it hath bene we esteeme to a hundreth pound.

100li 100
Warke Castell Wark on Tweed Castle

Warke Castle belonging to Sir Thomas Gray standinge upon the said river of Tweede about a myle west and by northe from Cornell aforesaid hard adjoininge to the border of Scotland, decaied by want of reparacion of a longe contynuance but by whome to be repared we referr to youre honorabill consideracions bicause it seemeth by good testimony that her majestie and her noble progenitors have used to repair the same.

This castle or fortresse we doe thincke to be one of the cheife and principall places to defende the country and annoye the enemye if it were repared, the chardge of which reparacions we esteeme as it hath bene before to eight hundreth pounde, but we thinck that four hundreth pound wold there repaire a sufficient rowme for a guarrison of a hundreth horsmen to defend the countrye and annoye the enemye as aforesaid, which we referre to youre honorabill consideracions.

800li as it were before, or 400li for c. horsemen 800 to restore or 400 for 100 horsemen.
Howtell Towre Howtell Tower

Howetell Towre belonginge to John Burrell gentleman standinge about two myle southe and by east from the castle of Warke within thre myle of the border of Scotland decaied by warres as we are crediblye enformed but by whome to be repaired otherwise then as before in the like case declared, we knowe not.

This towre or fortresse beynge a verye small thinge we a verye convenient place for such a number as the same will serve to defende the countrye and annoye the enemye if it were repaired the chardges of which reparacion we esteeme to fiftye pounde.

50li 50
Lancton Towre Lanton Tower

Lancton Towre belonginge to John Collingwoode gentleman standing aboute a myle southe and by east frome the said towre of Howetell within foure myles of the border of Scotlande decaied partlye by warres and by want of reparacion of a longe contynuance but by whome to be repaired otherwise then ia to the last before declared we knowe not.

This towre or fortresse we thincke also verye fitt and convenient for the consideracons aforesaid if it were repaired, the charges of which reparacion we esteeme to a hundreth pounds.

100li 100
Etell Castell Etal Castle

Etell Castle belonginge to her majestye standinge about thre myles east and by southe frome the sayd towre of Lancton within sixe myles of the border of Scotland decaied for want of reparacion by longe contynuance.

This castle or fortresse we thinck to be one of the chiefe places and at least chardges to be repaired the chardges of whiche reparacyon we esteeme to two hundrethe pounde.

200li 200
Foord Castell Ford Castle

Foorde Castle belonginge to William Carr esquier standinge about a myle southe and by east of the said castle of Etell decaied by want of reparacion of a longe contynuance and by whome to be repaired we knowe not otherwise then in other lyke cases is before declared.

This castle or fortresse we thincke also verye fitt for the consideracions aforesayd yf it were repaired, the charge of which reparacions we esteeme to three hundreth pounde.

300li 300
Wooler Towre Wooler Tower

Wooler Towre belonginge to Sir Thomas Graye standinge upon the verye plenished ringe of the border about thre myle south south west frome the said castle of Foord, decaied either by warres or for want of reparacions by longe contynuance and by whome to be repaired otherwise then in lyke cases is before declared we knowe not.

This towre or fortresse we thincke also to be very fit and convenient place for the consideracions aforesayd for a small number if it were repaired, the chardges of whiche reparacion we esteme to thre score pounde.

60li 60
Bewicke Towre Old Bewick Tower

Bewyke towre belonginge to her majestye standinge about thre myles east and by southe of the sayd towre of Wooler within seven myle of the border of Scotland decaied by meanes as last aforesayd.

This towre or fortresse we thincke also verye fit and convenient for the consideracions aforesaid to be repaired with an augmentacion of a stone wall or barmekin of thirtye yarde square, and also stablinge for fiftye horse, the chardges of which reparacyons we esteeme to twentye pound and the said augmentacion to two hundreth pounde.

20li as it was before and 200li for ane augmentacion. 20 to restore or 200 for an improvement.
Lowyke Towre Lowick Tower

Lowyke Towre belonginge to Sir Cuthbert Collingwoode, Sir John Selbye, Thomas Swynborne and Cuthbert Collingwoode standinge about sixe myles southe frome Barwicke, within sixe mile of the border of Scotland by what meanes decaied or by whome to be repaired we knowe not otherwise then in lyke cases is before declared.

This towre or fortresse lyenge somthing more inward in the countrye we thinck fit for sundrye consideraciones to be repaired as well as those upon the ring of the border, the charges of which reparacion we esteeme to fiftye pounde.

50li 50
Harbuttle Castell Harbottle Castle

Harbuttle Castle belonginge to her majestye standinge about eight myle south southwest from the towre of Woller aforesaid and within vj myles of Scotlande, decaied for want of reparacions by longe contynuance.

This castle or fortresse we thincke to be one of the most fit for the consideracions aforesaid and for rewling the brockill and disobedient subjects there to be fullye repaired the charges of which reparacion we esteeme to two hundreth fortye pound.

240li 240

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