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Combe in 'Cumberland'

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Coome: Cowholm

In the civil parish of Half Morton .
In the historic county of Dumfriesshire.
Modern Authority of Dumfries And Galloway.
1974 county of Dumfries and Galloway.
Medieval County of Debatable Lands.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY337721
Latitude 55.03904° Longitude -3.03932°

Combe in 'Cumberland' has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Ruins of a possible stonehouse or tower.
Shown on the 1590 map as a tower at 'Coome', (identified as Cowholm) and as a house on the 1607 platt. Cole states that 'foundations are easily traced on a 5-6m high bankhead just east of Staffler Flow.'
Cole supposes 'a small stonehouse or bastle may have justified inclusion on both maps of the 1590s'. He describes the site and gives documentary references.
Cole states 'the likelihood of archaeological survival on this... now deserted site, is good.' (Perriam and Robinson 1998)

A map of 1590 places the tower of 'Coome' on the E side of the River Sark, but it more probably stood W of the river in the vicinity of the farmstead of Cowholm, which is noted (at NY 337 721) on the first edition of the OS 6-inch map (Dumfriesshire, sheet lix, 1862). (Cowholm is not noted on the 1976 edition of the OS 1:10,000 map). (Canmore)

Vanished tower shown on map of 1590 as Coome on the east of the River Sark. As with Grenewich (Greenrigg), also shown as east of the river, probably lay just west of the river in Scotland, but sometimes located as in Cumberland. It is also possible the River Sark has changed course a little moving the site from the east to the west bank. Almost certainly some form of bastle. Not a gentry status 'pele-tower'.
It is uncertain what Cole's foundations were or where they are exactly located.
The suggested site and remains are in Scotland and, although this area is called 'the debatable lands' because the area was contested the River Sark does make a clear natural boundary. In practice inhabitants of such houses probably felt much closer to their kinship alliances than any relation to the crown of either England or Scotland.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

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