Ancient Monuments

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Bastle at The Raw Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hepple, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2762 / 55°16'34"N

Longitude: -2.0919 / 2°5'30"W

OS Eastings: 394261.155296

OS Northings: 598012.14777

OS Grid: NY942980

Mapcode National: GBR F7TF.XF

Mapcode Global: WHB0T.VN11

Entry Name: Bastle at The Raw Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1932

Last Amended: 27 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008889

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20908

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hepple

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Elsdon St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a medieval defended farmhouse, or bastle, situated among
farm buildings 30m to the north-west of the present farmhouse. The structure,
constructed of roughly squared stone and surviving to first floor level, is
rectangular in plan, measuring 9.1m by 4.5m within stone walls 1.6m thick.
Traces of a plinth and a more massive foundation course are exposed at the
north-east side. The upper storey has been partially rebuilt in the late
eighteenth century with smaller, squarer masonry. The basement, or byre, is
barrel vaulted and has an original doorway at the centre of the south-east
gable; other entrances in the south-west and north-west wall are later and
the latter has now been turned into a window. A slit window is placed
centrally in the north-west gable. At the eastern corner of the basement
there are indications that a small staircase formerly existed; this
identification is supported by the existence of corresponding masonry at the
south-east end of the upper storey. On the external south-west wall a stone
staircase leads up to the first floor living area through a late eighteenth or
nineteenth century doorway. There are first floor windows on the north-east
and north-west walls; the jambs of the former are decorated with carvings
including one of a female head.
The bastle now has a modern roof of metal sheeting. The upper storey of the
bastle was apparently the scene of the murder in 1792 of the occupant, Mary
Crozier. A local criminal, William Winter was hanged for her murder. The
circumstances of this crime were widely known and Winters Gibbet became a
local landmark. The bastle is a Grade II listed building. The modern farm
buildings which are attached to the bastle on the north-east and
south-east sides, and the small lean-to shed built onto the bastle at its
south-west corner are not included in the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bastles are small thick-walled farmhouses in which the living quarters are
situated above a ground floor byre. The vast majority are simple rectangular
buildings with the byre entrance typically placed in one gable end, an upper
door in the side wall, small stoutly-barred windows and few architectural
features or details. Some have stone barrel vaults to the basement but the
majority had a first floor of heavy timber beams carrying stone slabs. The
great majority of bastles are solitary rural buildings, although a few
nucleated settlements with more than one bastle are also known. Most bastles
were constructed between about 1575 and 1650, although earlier and later
examples are also known. They were occupied by middle-rank farmers. Bastles
are confined to the northern border counties of England, in Cumbria,
Northumberland and Durham. The need for such strongly defended farmsteads can
be related to the troubled social conditions in these border areas during the
later Middle Ages. Less than 300 bastles are known to survive, of which a
large number have been significantly modified by their continuing use as
domestic or other buildings. All surviving bastles which retain significant
original remains will normally be identified as nationally important.

The Raw Bastle survives in an excellent state of preservation and exhibits
unusual carved ornaments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodgson, J C, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume 2 part 1, (1827)
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970)
Ryder, P F, Bastles and Towers in Northumberland National Park, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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