North Bastle, Gatehouse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015527

Date first listed: 15-Oct-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of North Bastle, Gatehouse
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Tarset


National Grid Reference: NY 78786 88982


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.

North Bastle at Gatehouse survives very 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 position overlooking the Tarset Valley. It is also situated at the north west end of a farm steading and is one of a group of five bastles which once comprised the small hamlet of Gatehouse. The bastle is rectangular in shape and measures 11.4m by 7m externally with walls of large rubble 1.45m thick with large quoin stones at the corners. The bastle stands two storeys high with walls 9m to eaves level and was re-roofed in the 19th century. The original square headed doorway giving access into the ground floor basement is situated in the centre of the north eastern gable. It has been raised by cutting into the lintel and is furnished with draw bar tunnels and hanging sockets for two doors. The doorway in the north west gable is a 19th century insertion. A single slit window in the south east wall served to ventilate the basement. The upper floor is carried on massive timber beams, now built into the walls but originally carried on stone supports or corbels on the long walls. The external stone stair on the south east side is a secondary feature; an earlier stone platform at first floor level is thought to have originally been reached by a wooden ladder. The upper doorway is placed behind the stone stair platform and has original small windows placed to either side. Inside the bastle at first floor level there are wall cupboards built against each gable and a fire place, of 18th century, date on the south west gable. The monument is a Grade II* Listed Building. The two fence lines which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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: 25085

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ryder, P F, Bastles and Towers in Northumberland National Park, (1990), 39-40
NY 78 NE 04,

End of official listing