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David Ford, History EditorTours > Coquetdale > Whitton Tower

Whitton Tower
Immediately south of the river from Rothbury

Whitton Tower This 60ft high, 46 by 33ft rectangular pele tower is one of the best preserved in the whole of Northumberland. It was built around 1386, by Sir Thomas De Umfraville, Lord of Harbottle, in order to control middle Coquetdale; but, by 1415, it had been exchanged with the Rector of nearby Rothbury. The vicars were safely protected in their fine tower for the next five hundred years.

Uniquely, the tower retains the arms of the Umfravilles high up on its western wall. Interesting internal features include a chapel piscina, double barrel-vaulting on both basement and first floor levels and a deep well in the cellar, used to house cattle during periods of Scottish raids.

Whitton Tower has been repaired and restored over the years by a number of its ecclesiastical residents - notably after becoming ruinous in the 1670s - and was considerably extended by Dr. Thomas Sharp in the 18th century. It had become a children's hospital by the turn of the 20th century, but is now a private residence, not open to the public. Unfortunately, it is hidden from any roadside view by the surrounding trees, but part of it is available, throughout the year, for holiday lets.

The tower is privately owned and not open to the public. However, holiday lets are available throughout the year.

Next Stop: Sharp's Folly

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