Elsdon Tower
Building Elsdon Northumberland

Elsdon Tower

Building In Elsdon, Northumberland

A medieval pele tower first recorded in 1415.

If you fancy a drive out into the middle of Northumberland to discover some fascinating history and see very few people, you could do worse than a visit to Elsdon. It is the largest settlement within Northumberland National Park and is a great starting point for some lovely walks in the countryside.

Within the village is Elsdon Tower, a formidable example of medieval architecture. It has witnessed centuries of turbulent history, serving as a refuge from Scottish raiders and border reivers as well as being a symbol of power.

Originally constructed in the 14th century it was first conceived as a Vicar's Pele, a fortified dwelling for the local clergyman.

Its thick stone walls measure around eight feet in some places, and narrow slit windows are a reminder of the need for vigilance and defense in the medieval period. Traces of a machicolation, a projecting ledge from which boiling liquids or stones could be thrown onto attackers, can also still be seen at the top of the tower.

In the 17th century, it underwent a transformation and evolved into a more comfortable residence. The interior walls were adorned with plasterwork and fireplaces, and larger windows brought in natural light, softening the tower's once imposing demeanor.

It served as a rectory for centuries, housing generations of clergymen who ministered to the local community. The 19th century brought further changes when Archdeacon Singleton commissioned the addition of a porch and entrance hall, to make it more inviting to guests.

There are some interesting nods to it's history in the form of various coats of arms which can be seen around the tower. The Umfravilles coat of arms adorns the south wall, the Howards on the north wall and above the porch you can spot the Percys coat of arms. You may well have heard of some of these powerful families if you're an avid reader of Fabulous North, and it was the Umfravilles who built Elsdon Castle in the 11th century.

The tower is now a private residence so there is no access inside. There is an information board at the front of the tower, however, which gives you some insight into the history of the tower. If you want to extend your visit to the area, you could pop along to see Elsdon Castle and Winter's Gibbet is a 5 minute drive down the road too.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 3 points if you have visited this place. Already visited by 21 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

How To Find Elsdon Tower

Where Is Elsdon Tower?

Show Place On Google Maps

Lat / Long

55.234813, -2.101849

What three words


Where To Park For Elsdon Tower?

Show Parking On Google Maps

Lat / Long

55.234166, 55.234166

What three words


There is a little parking area just on the corner of the road with enough space for a few cars.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

More Places from Sandra
Sandra Clemens

More Places In Elsdon

Find more fabulous places in Elsdon, Northumberland and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Manside Cross Trig Point
Manside Cross Trig Point
Trig Point Elsdon Northumberland

This is the trig point for Manside Cross (325m) near Elsdon.

Hepple Lime Kiln
Hepple Lime Kiln
Lime Kiln Elsdon Northumberland

A slightly ruined lime kiln in Hepple in between Rothbury and Elsdon.

Elsdon Castle
Elsdon Castle
Castle Elsdon Northumberland

An amazing example of an early 12th century Norman Motte and Bailey castle.

More Buildings

So this building wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.

Black Hut at Catcleugh Reservoir
Black Hut at Catcleugh Reservoir
Building Byrness Northumberland

The last remaining hut built to accomodate the workers who constructed the Catcleugh Reservoir.

The Loovre
The Loovre
Building Berwick Upon Tweed Northumberland

Once a public loo, now a tiny holiday home in the heart of Berwick.

Featherstone Park Prisoner of War Camp
Featherstone Park Prisoner of War Camp
Building Haltwhistle Northumberland

A former POW camp located behind Featherstone Castle for Italian and German prisoners of war.

Never Miss A Fabulous Place

If you are afraid of missing out on all the fabulous places we post, or just want to be the first to know, then sign up to the Fabulous North.

Each week we will email you all the brand new places that we visit.

Sign Up To Alerts
Sign up to newsletter
Fabulous North On Facebook

Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Join Our Facebook Group