Bastle at Craig Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008888

Date first listed: 26-Nov-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Bastle at Craig Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2018 at 07:57:00.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hepple


National Grid Reference: NY 93716 99874


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 bastle at Craig Farm survives in an excellent state of preservation to almost its original height. It is one of a group of bastles in the vicinity which will contribute to our understanding of medieval settlement in the Border areas.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a well preserved defended farmhouse, or bastle, situated among farm buildings adjoining the north-east corner of the present farmhouse. The bastle, constructed of roughly squared stone and surviving two storeys high, is rectangular in plan, measuring 9.2m by 4.4m within stone walls 1.4m thick. The basement, or byre, has a fine barrel vault and an original entrance at the centre of the west gable; a second entrance in the south wall is a relatively recent addition, as is the now blocked doorway on the north side. A splayed slit window placed centrally in the east gable is now blocked by adjoining farm buildings; on the same wall to the north of this window there is a wall cupboard and traces of the socket holes which supported a wooden loft. In the south-west corner a staircase leads up through the thickness of the wall to the first floor living area. Here, a window and two wall cupboards occupy the west end and a doorway, now blocked, is visible in the east end. Other breaks in the walls at this level may indicate the position of other windows. The bastle is complete to within 1m of its original height, although the roof does not survive. The bastle is a grade II listed building. The modern farm buildings which are attached to the eastern end of the bastle are not included in the scheduling.

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20911

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970)
Ryder, P F, Bastles and Towers in Northumberland National Park, (1990)
No. 4059,

End of official listing