Most visitors to Northumberland will know of the grim and bloody history of this Border county, but seldom will they receive so vivid an impression of its reality as at Preston pele tower. Some rooms have been furnished as they might have been in the fourteenth century, and there are fascinating displays and information about the life of the Border reivers.


The Preston pele tower, which is owned by Major Tom Baker Cresswell, was built between 1392 and 1399, when warfare between England and Scotland was endemic. At the time of Agincourt (1415) it was one of 78 pele towers in Northumberland. Its owners included Sir Guiscard Harbottle, who was slain fighting against James IV at the battle of Flodden in 1513, the conflict that brought Mary, Queen of Scots to the Scottish throne.

Although the rest of England was enjoying peace and prosperity by the sixteenth century, in the Border country raiders, or ‘reivers’, still constantly crossed back and forth in the disputed hinterland. Instead of comfortable Tudor manor houses, the seats of Border families still needed thick walls and tunnel-vaulted rooms to defend themselves and their livestock.
Following the Union of Scotland and England in 1603 under Mary’s son James, peace finally came to the Borders. Half the tower was pulled down at this time and the stone used for farm buildings on the estate. The present tower is what remains of the original structure.
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Tel: 07966 150 216

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Preston Tower
NE67 5DH