Northumberland is known for the number and variety of defensible buildings linked with its turbulent past as a border county. This book provides an authoritative and comprehensive field guide to hundreds of such buildings built between the 12th and 16th centuries, mostly various kinds of residential towers and bastles but also including some defensible ecclesiastical buildings.
These lesser and less-studied smaller buildings focus their strength on a single structure and in their diversity are arguably more characteristic of the Borders landscape than the better-known major castles. Their diversity reflects changes in defensive strategy over the centuries as well as regional differences, notably between the lowlands and the wild and remote uplands.
This accessible field guide provides descriptions and illustrations of nearly 450 of these little-known sites, including every surviving building at sub-castle level which has some claim to defensibility.
As John Grundy notes in his Foreword, nobody knows these buildings better than Peter Ryder who, from the 1980s onwards has discovered dozens of new examples, especially bastles – a deceptively plain but extraordinary class of buildings rarely found outside Northumberland - and visited all of those included here.
This book reveals the astonishing number and variety of such buildings and encourages the reader to observe and understand them in terms of their historic context and place in the Northumbrian landscape.
Paperback 290 pages
Author Peter Ryder