Bastle at Horneystead, 400m south west of The Ash


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009674

Date first listed: 28-Nov-1994


Ordnance survey map of Bastle at Horneystead, 400m south west of The Ash
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Jan-2019 at 03:44:31.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wark


National Grid Reference: NY 81481 77305


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 Horneystead survives reasonably well and is a good example of its type. 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.


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


The monument includes the remains of a bastle, a form of defended farmhouse, situated in a commanding defensive position on a rocky elevation above the Warks Burn to the south. The bastle is rectangular in shape and measures 11.9m by 7m externally with walls of large roughly coursed rubble 1.3m-1.5m thick. Only the lower parts of the bastle are standing with walls up to 4.5m high. The original square headed doorway giving access into the ground floor basement is situated in the centre of the west wall. It has a rebated surround with a relieving arch over and is furnished with a draw bar tunnel and a hanging socket for a door. A slit window, now blocked, is visible in the western end of the south wall. The first floor of the bastle which has now collaped into the interior was carried on a barrel vault, traces of which can be seen within the rubble. A drawing of the bastle in 1940 shows the western part of the vault still standing. The bastle was apparently inhabited until the mid 19th century when the present farm complex surrounding the bastle was built. The two stone walls which adjoin the bastle at the east and west sides and the fence line which runs from the north wall are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 25114

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hope-Dodds, M, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume XV, (1940), 293
Ryder, P F, Bastles and Towers in Northumberland National Park, (1990), 11

End of official listing