Lynestead medieval pele tower, early post-medieval farmstead and an associated corn drying kiln


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016086

Date first listed: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Lynestead medieval pele tower, early post-medieval farmstead and an associated corn drying kiln
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1016086 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 04:17:07.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Bewcastle

National Grid Reference: NY 54673 78434


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

Reasons for Designation

Tower houses are a type of defensible house particularly characteristic of the borderlands of England and Scotland. Virtually every parish had at least one of these buildings. At many sites the tower comprised only one element of a larger house, with at least one wing being attached to it. These wings provided further domestic accommodation, frequently including a large hall. If it was incorporated within a larger domestic residence, the tower itself could retain its defensible qualities and could be shut off from the rest of the house in times of trouble. Tower houses were being constructed and used from at least the 13th century to the end of the 16th century. They provided prestigious defended houses permanently occupied by the wealthier or aristocratic members of society. As such they were important centres of medieval life. The need for such secure buildings relates to the unsettled and frequently war-like conditions which prevailed in the Borders throughout much of the medieval period. Around 200 examples of tower houses have been identified of which over half were elements of larger houses. All surviving tower houses retaining significant medieval remains will normally be identified as nationally important.

Lynestead medieval pele tower, early post-medieval farmstead and associated corn drying kiln survives in fair condition. The monument is a rare example of the juxtaposition of a pele tower and early post-medieval farmstead, and it will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the wider border settlement and economy during the medieval and early post-medieval periods.


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


The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Lynestead medieval pele tower, an early post-medieval farmstead and an associated corn drying kiln. `Pele' is an alternative term to `tower' and `pele towers' are members of the wider family of defensive buildings in the northern borderlands which also include tower houses and bastles. It is located on relatively flat ground immediately to the north west of the 19th-century house known as Lynestead. The remains of the pele tower include turf-covered foundations measuring approximately 11.5m by 11m and up to 0.5m high with walls up to 2m thick. A short distance to the north east of the pele are the turf-covered foundations of an early post-medieval farmstead measuring c.14m by 6m and up to 0.3m high with its long axis aligned north east-south west. Associated with the farmstead, and lying a short distance to the south east, is a corn drying kiln which now survives as an irregularly shaped turf-covered mound up to 0.8m high with maximum dimensions of 7m by 6m. The presence of the kiln indicates the existence of small scale arable farming in the area during the early post- medieval period. Here then is a medieval pele tower which was superseded by a small hill farm which, in turn, was abandoned before 1854 when the present Lynestead cottage was built. All fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 27779

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 51

End of official listing