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Asheybank Farmhouse, Allendale

In the civil parish of Allendale.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY78757666
Latitude 54.91324° Longitude -2.33265°

Asheybank Farmhouse, Allendale has been described as a probable Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


House, late C16 or C17, outshut added later C17, refenestrated C19. Rubble with large quoins, stone slate roof, stone gable stacks. 2 storeys, 4 windows, irregular. Central boarded door in decayed moulded surround flanked by blocked mullioned windows. Beyond these, late C19 sashes; 4 similar sashes to 1st floor. Carved stone with cross and human head, probably medieval, built into base of right return. Rear elevation has outshut with 2 formerly mullioned windows and narrow 6-pane fixed window. Interior not seen. Adjacent ruined barn to left and outbuilding to right not of interest. (Listed Building Report 1985)

Asheybank stands at the brink of a steep slope dropping westward to the West Allen; a trackway of considerable age (sunken in places and lined by large blocks) drops down to it from Burnlaw (NY 75 NE 1).
The house is a rectangular block 14.2m long by 6.2m wide, with walls of rubble, heavily mortared; there is a later outshut on the northern half of the west side. Very large elongate quoining is exposed at the south west corner; it is not clear whether the same type of quoining survives at the other corners. The side walls are c.0.8m thick, but the end walls may be considerably thicker.
It is not clear whether the building is a bastle or not; the doorway and windows of the south front look of early 19th century character, but remains of earlier mullioned windows are visible on both sides of the door; the outshut has chamfered windows of late 17th century type. At the south end of the building is a ruined barn of 18th or early 19th century date; a steep gable line visible above it (formed by stone slates embedded in the wall) in fact seems to relate to an earlier roof line of the house rather than the barn. Perhaps the most likely interpretation is that the end walls of a bastle (or of a pair?) survive, and that the side walls were rebuilt c.1700.
Built into the external face of the north end, low down (and now inside a small outbuilding) is a carved stone. Set upright in the wall, it measures 1.11m by 0.46m; the floor has been cut away to allow its full extent to be seen, although the lower half is not easily accessible. The upper third of the stone bears an incised cross with some other motif to the right, the lower section appears to have been cut back, to allow the carving in high relief of a hooded and robed figure, with a shaft rising from the right shoulder to align with that of the incised cross on the upper section. To the left of this is a spherical object carved in high relief. The feet are shown in a somewhat stylised form sometimes seen on medieval effigial monuments.
The stone would appear to be medieval; it would seem most likely to be a cross slab grave cover, perhaps of 11th or 12th century date, with its lower section recut at some later time, probably still within the medieval period. The nearest medieval church is St John's at Whitfield (NY 75 NE 2) (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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