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Ray Cottages, Kirkwhelpington

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY96908576
Latitude 55.16619° Longitude -2.05013°

Ray Cottages, Kirkwhelpington has been described as a certain Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Ray consists only of one house in a ruinous state, an unoccupied peel-house, and traces of numerous dwellings (Hodgson 1827).
Remains of the 'peel-house' consist of the lower courses only, but it is more likely to be a bastle than a tower. No trace of the desertion survives other than a fishpond and one possible croft (NY 98 NE 7 and 14 respectively). (F1 BHP 17-AUG-1967).
NY 968857 Remains of bastle. Ray Cottages. Remains of bastle with four walls standing 6ft-7ft high. Roughly squared rubble. End doorway jambs have been rebuilt with parts of broken lintel reset in them. Checks for two doors and tunnels for two drawbars. Corbels to support upper floor in long walls and west wall (Ramm et al 1970).
Bastle, 100m south-west of Ray Cottages. Scheduling affirmed on 2nd December 1993, new national monument number 21003. The monument includes a medieval defended farmhouse or bastle, situated on a raised site within the grounds of Ray Castle. The structure, constructed of large roughly squared stone, is rectangular in plan and measures 8.3m by 6.4m externally. The walls which are 1.4m thick stand to a maximum height of 2.2m. There is a doorway in the east gable giving access to the basement. The first floor, of which there is now no trace, was supported on stone corbels which are visible in the west gable and the north and south walls. Although the bastle at Ray Cottages is now a ruin, the lower portions survive well and display several typical features. It will contribute to any study of the nature of settlement in the Border area during the turbulent 16th and 17th centuries (Scheduling Report).
The ruins of a solitary bastle stand in gardens that remain from a demolished mansion. The bastle measures 8.7m by c.6.5m externally; the walls are of massive roughly squared blocks. The north wall survives to seven courses and stands 2.2m high. The byre doorway is set centrally in the east end, only the jambs survive. There are rebates for two doorways, the outer with a pair of drawbar tunnels in the south jamb, the inner with one on the north. An internal projection or pier (probably an addition) lies east of centre on the north wall. There is no clear evidence of any basement loops. The interior is difficult to enter because of vegetation (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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