Bastle at The Raw Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 94261 98012

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


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.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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