Ancient Monuments

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Bastle 40m north east of Low Angerton

A Scheduled Monument in Hartburn, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.1533 / 55°9'11"N

Longitude: -1.8524 / 1°51'8"W

OS Eastings: 409505.296965

OS Northings: 584339.178747

OS Grid: NZ095843

Mapcode National: GBR H8HV.RH

Mapcode Global: WHC2N.JQ4S

Entry Name: Bastle 40m north east of Low Angerton

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016710

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31722

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hartburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Hartburn with Meldon

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a bastle situated in gardens north east of Low Angerton
House. The bastle is constructed of large roughly shaped and roughly coursed
stone blocks, measures 10.5m east-west by 6.7m, with walls standing to a
maximum height of 2.5m. It comprises the lower part of the west wall and 4m to
5m lengths each of the north and south walls; the east wall is traceable as a
slight earthwork and at the south east a corner stone is visible through the
turf. The standing walls are built on a boulder plinth. In the centre of the
west wall is a blocked byre doorway with a semicircular arched head cut from
two large blocks of stone. There is a drawbar tunnel in the north jamb and two
iron hinges in the south jamb.
The monument stands next to an adjacent building on the east side, which is
not included in the scheduling. A post and wire fence within a hedge at the
east end of the bastle is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 of the later Middle Ages, which
in these border areas lasted until (indeed after) the union of the English and
Scottish Crowns in 1603. 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 bastle north east of Low Angerton is reasonably well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits. It is a rare example of a bastle in the
eastern part of Northumberland.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ryder, P F, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland: A Survey, (1995), 27

Source: Historic England

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