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Kershope Castle

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: Kershope Castle

List entry Number: 1018956

Location

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

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kielder

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 19-Mar-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32716

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

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. Solitary tower houses comprise a single square or rectangular `keep' several storeys high, with strong barrel-vaults tying together massive outer walls. Many towers had stone slab roofs, often with a parapet walk. Access could be gained through a ground floor entrance or at first floor level where a doorway would lead directly to a first floor hall. Solitary towers were normally accompanied by a small outer enclosure defined by a timber or stone wall and called a barmkin. 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 and 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 less than half are of the free- standing or solitary tower type. All surviving solitary towers retaining significant medieval remains will normally be identified as nationally important.

Kershope Castle survives well and retains significant archaeological deposits. As an example of a solitary tower house which retains its earthwork defences, it is unusual and will add to our knowledge of the diversity of medieval settlement in the Border area of England. The fact that it is mentioned in medieval documents enhances the importance of the monument.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a tower of medieval date, situated on a steep south west facing slope overlooking the valley of the North Tyne. The monument is visible as a rectangular mound measuring 7m north west to south east by 5m north east to south west, truncated on the north eastern side by a forestry track. The mound supports the remains of a stone tower which is visible as a section of stone walling at the north western side. The mound is surrounded on three sides by a ditch 1.3m deep and on average 6.5m wide. Outside the ditch there are the remains of a slight outer bank which, where it is best preserved on the south eastern side, is 1.5m wide. The north eastern side of the tower and its supporting mound are buried beneath debris resulting from the construction of a forestry track. The surrounding ditch on this side, which survives below ground level as a buried feature, has been infilled and overlain by the track. Kershope Castle is thought to have been the tower referred to in a document of 1249 when it was associated with one Robert of `Gresshope'. It is thought that the castle was in existence by the mid-12th century, as a document of 1304 confirms a grant of land in `Gresshoppa' which was originally made by Malcolm, King of Scotland, who died in 1165. It is possible that the tower was a later addition to an earlier earthwork site.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Other
NY69NW 02,

National Grid Reference: NY 61446 95957

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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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 11:56:39.

End of official listing