NORTHUMBRIA-L ArchivesArchiver > NORTHUMBRIA > 2003-04 > 1051179653
From: "Chris Morgan" <>
Subject: Re: [NMB] Twizell Farm
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 11:20:53 +0100
>Is there any publication available that contains the history of farms in n.e.
>Northumberland ? I am interested in Twizell Farm, near Belford, also any information
>on Shaws Lane Berwick on Tweed.
The name Twizell Farm does not appear in the index to the Northumberland County
History Volume I relating to Belford parish. "Twisilhouse" is referred to in a September
1584 muster of the Middle March quoted in Volume II, page 255 - described in the muster
as a ciett or stead. That is in Ellingham parish.
In "Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland", 1987, by T H
Rowland the following description appears.
Three miles westwards from Norham was the old Twizell Castle in a dominant position
and overlooking the River Till. Beneath it and arched like a rainbow, was Twizell Bridge.
It still stands today, now bypassed, after a reign of 500 years. English troops used it before
Flodden, and it is a fine example of medieval building. Spanning 90 feet, it seems to rise
the same height to its apex above the river. It makes a romantic picture, with the ruins of a
later Twizell Castle amid the trees above the cliff face.
Pevsner describes it as a "thickly ivy-laden and tree covered ruin of a monster folly, the
house which Sir Francis Blake began about 1770 and never finished.
In 1812 it was five storeys high and was meant to rise a further fifteen feet. Wyatt was then
working at Twizell Castle. Sir Francis gave a turret of the old castle to Count St Paul for
re-erection at his mansion of Ewart Park and this still stands. Twizell castle is a
rectangular building like the medieval hall house. It had round towers at the corners,
although two of these have gone since that time..............
.......In 1541 it was reported "At Twysle near unto the said ryver or castell rased and caste
downe by the Kinge of Scots in a warre 40 yeres & more since"
In 1561 at Twizel "There hath beene in the said towne one towre or pile which is of ancjent
tyme decayed and caste downe, and there remaineth one part or quarter thereof, and a
barmkin about it."
These descriptions could apply to the present ruins, in the base of which the above ruins
Shaws Lane at Berwick is referred to on page 436 of John Scott's "History of Berwick-
upon-Tweed" - part of one sentence referring to street names in a survey of 1562,
compared to 1888. "Soutergate was then the name of Church Street, and Shaws Lane of
Chapel Street, and sometimes Walkergate was called Shaw's Lane."
I hope this may give a little information to go on. I've only had 15 minutes today to look.
The Rowland book was still available last year, ISBN 0 946098 24 7. Many Northumbrian
farms were fortified, so they may be classed as bastles or peles.