Elsdon Tower

Elsdon Tower - Photo ©
Phill Thirkell, 20 March 2007

Elsdon Tower is a medieval tower house converted for use as a Rectory situated at Elsdon, Northumberland. It is a Grade I listed building. The property was first recorded as a Vicars Pele, a pele tower in the occupation of the Rector of Elsdon in 1415. The tower, originally of four storeys, was reduced in the 17th century to only three with a steeply sloping roof above a castellated parapet. In the early 19th century Archdeacon Singleton built an entrance porch and a two storey, two bayed house extension. The house was in use as the Rectory until 1960. It was fully renovated and restored in the 1990s.

There is nearby a medieval Motte and Bailey castle, which was built by Robert de Umfraville and is known as Elsdon Castle.

Elsdon Castle

Elsdon Castle is a castle in the village of Elsdon about 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest of Rothbury, in Northumberland, England, and also known as Mote Hills. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

It is the best preserved medieval motte and bailey castle site in Northumberland. It was built by Robert de Umfraville, not long after the Norman Conquest and stands on a natural spur of a hill. Impressive earthworks remain. Elsdon Castle is thought to have been abandoned after it was superseded by the nearby Harbottle Castle.

Legend has gathered around the castle. According to one tale a Danish giant lived on the hill and terrorised the neighbourhood. It is tempting to rationalise this as a memory of Siward the Dane, earl of Northumberland in the reign of Edward the Confessor.[1]

Elsdon Tower is nearby: a pele tower dating from the late 14th or early 15th century, which was also built by the de Umfravilles.


  1. ^ Fraser, Constance; Emsley, Kenneth (1989). Northumbria. Chichester, Sussex, England: Phillimore & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0-85033-723-2. 



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