The Stonehouse bastle, 240m north of Denton Foot


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019210

Date first listed: 25-Jul-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of The Stonehouse bastle, 240m north of Denton Foot
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Nether Denton

National Grid Reference: NY 57155 62631


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 Stonehouse medieval bastle is one of a number of bastles located in northern Cumbria close to the Scottish border. As such it will contribute greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the wider border settlement and economy during the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of a medieval bastle known as The Stonehouse located in an elevated position at the head of Pott's Cleugh, 240m north of Denton Foot. It is constructed of squared and coursed rubble and measures approximately 16.5m by 7.6m and, despite being roofless, largely survives to its original two-storey height. There are two entrances to the ground floor, one doorway in the south east wall and another in the south west wall. On the ground floor there are narrow windows in the south east, south west and the north west walls. The upper floor was the main living area and fragmentary remains of the principal fireplace which projected externally on corbels still survive on the south east wall; also along this wall are three windows. There is a single window in the south west wall adjacent to an area of partial collapse where a first floor doorway is thought to have been located. In the north west wall there is a window and a fireplace. The Stonehouse bastle is a Listed Building Grade II. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 32855

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 77-8
English Heritage, English Heritage: Register of Buildings at Risk. North West, 1999,

End of official listing