Ancient Monuments

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Bastle 150m south west of Morrelhirst

A Scheduled Monument in Hollinghill, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2577 / 55°15'27"N

Longitude: -1.9106 / 1°54'38"W

OS Eastings: 405776.566284

OS Northings: 595950.684497

OS Grid: NZ057959

Mapcode National: GBR H73N.42

Mapcode Global: WHB13.M3CQ

Entry Name: Bastle 150m south west of Morrelhirst

Scheduled Date: 21 June 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018994

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31725

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hollinghill

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a 16th or 17th century bastle situated by
the edge of a stream called Linn Kern. The bastle is visible as the lower
courses of a rectangular building which measures 11m north west to south east
by 7m. The north east wall is the best preserved, measuring 1.2m in width and
standing up to 0.6m high, with several courses of stonework visible on the
external face. A gap in the north west wall is interpreted as the byre
A post and wire fence which runs north west to south east through the centre
of the bastle is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is

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 150m south west of Morrelhirst survives in reasonable condition.
The floor levels, entrance and wall bases are undisturbed and will retain
significant archaeological deposits. The bastle will contribute to any study
of settlement during the early post-medieval period.

Source: Historic England


NZ 09 NE 1,

Source: Historic England

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