Burradon Tower, Burradon 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.

North Tyneside (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 27639 73033

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.

Burradon Tower is a well-preserved example of a tower house and is one of the latest examples of this building type.


The monument includes the remains of Burradon Tower, which are situated immediately east of the main farmhouse of Burradon Farm. Burradon Tower, which is Listed Grade II, is a three storey tower house, approximately 7.5m high and 7.7m by 6.9m wide, with a single chamber on each floor reached by a newel stair in the south east corner. It is constructed of sandstone blocks with walls generally surviving to a course of corbels at a height of 7m, which supported the built out battlements. The walls are of a greater height in the south east corner, where they survive to a height of 7.5m. Sections of the east, south and west walls have been lost and only survive to the first floor level. To the exterior, the north elevation contains a crude doorway, which has been fashioned from a slit window, approximately 2m high. This north elevation also has a complete row of corbels at its top. The east elevation contains an entrance at the ground floor, a slit window in the north end at first floor level, a cut-in roof line for an attached building also at first floor level. The roof line marks where 19th century farm buildings (depicted on the first edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map) were attached. The south elevation contains a doorway (believed to date from the 19th century) at ground level, three windows on the east side lighting the newel stair, and cut-in sockets for roof timbers of attached buildings. The central portion of the west elevation survives to first floor level only. Internal features include a complete, slightly pointed, vault to the ground floor and a south east newel stair leading to the upper floors. Plaster is preserved on the walls of the ground floor and on the walls of the newel stair. In the first floor chamber a fireplace is sited against the east wall. Five metres to the north east of the tower is a circular depression identified as the site of a well. A large amount of the building stone is apparent in the enclosed area around the tower. The tower is believed to have been built in the 16th century and continued in occupation into the 17th century, but is depicted as ruins on Armstrong's tithe map of 1769. By the 19th century the tower had become part of an adjoining farm and the lower two chambers had been made habitable by the construction of an internal tiled roof. This adjoining farm is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 1858, with the tower forming the north west corner of the farm with buildings attached to its east and south sides. By the second edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of the early 20th century the tower stood alone in the present farm complex. The tower was conserved in 1977.

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
'Northumberland County History' in Burradon township, , Vol. IX, (1909), 46-48
Tomlinson, W W, 'Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities Newcastle on Tyne' in Burradon Tower, , Vol. 2, VIII, (1899), 229-231
SMR record, Harbottle, B, Burradon Tower, (1996)


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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