Bastle 150m south west of Morrelhirst


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018994

Date first listed: 21-Jun-1999


Ordnance survey map of Bastle 150m south west of Morrelhirst
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 23:55:50.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hollinghill


National Grid Reference: NZ 05777 95950


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 of the later Middle Ages, which in these border areas lasted until (indeed after) the union of the English and Scottish Crowns in 1603. 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 150m south west of Morrelhirst survives in reasonable condition. The floor levels, entrance and wall bases are undisturbed and will retain significant archaeological deposits. The bastle will contribute to any study of settlement during the early post-medieval period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a 16th or 17th century bastle situated by the edge of a stream called Linn Kern. The bastle is visible as the lower courses of a rectangular building which measures 11m north west to south east by 7m. The north east wall is the best preserved, measuring 1.2m in width and standing up to 0.6m high, with several courses of stonework visible on the external face. A gap in the north west wall is interpreted as the byre entrance. A post and wire fence which runs north west to south east through the centre of the bastle is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 31725

Legacy System: RSM


NZ 09 NE 1,

End of official listing