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Bastle and associated buildings 730m north west of Comb

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Bastle and associated buildings 730m north west of Comb

List entry Number: 1008992

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Tarset

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Oct-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Sep-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25080

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 and its associated buildings 730m north west of Comb survive reasonably well and preserve a rare doorway feature. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of other bastles in the vicinity. Taken together they will add to our knowledge and understanding of post medieval settlement in the region.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a bastle, a form of defended farmhouse, situated at the foot of a steep slope in the valley of the Tarset Burn. The bastle, rectangular in shape and orientated north west to south east, measures 9.6m by 7m externally with walls of large unhewn stone blocks 1.4m thick. The walls stand to a height of 4.5m on the north west and south west sides and 2m-4m elsewhere. Roughly shaped boulders have been used as quoin stones at the corners of the building. There is an entrance in the centre of the western gable wall giving access into the ground floor basement; it is square headed with rounded door jambs and has been provided with two doors, each furnished with draw bar tunnels. Above the doorway there is a narrow channel cut through the thickness of the wall; this is interpreted as a channel through which water would be poured to douse fires lit against the door and is a very rare feature of bastle construction. There is a single slit window in the east end of the bastle. The basement or byre clearly shows the remains of a vaulted roof which has mostly fallen into the bastle. It is thought that the upper storey living area was reached by a wooden ladder or staircase. The bastle is a Grade II Listed Building. Immediately to the west of the bastle, and on the same orientation, there are the remains of two steadings; the most easterly is visible as the grassed over foundations of a two compartment long house 17.5m by 4.5m wide, the end walls of which are 1.4m wide. The most westerly building is stone built and measures 24m long by 6m wide. It is considered that buildings such as these, which occur in close proximity to a bastle represent part of the bastle complex, and although secondary in construction to the main building they are associated with it.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Hope-Dodds, M, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume XV, (1940), 271
Ryder, P F, Bastles and Towers in Northumberland National Park, (1990), 34

National Grid Reference: NY 76124 91005

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008992 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2017 at 06:26:21.

End of official listing