Shilla Hill Bastle Starr Head
NY 764-904 Northumberland England
Shilla Hill Bastle was a rectangular mid to late 16th century stone two storey defensible farmhouse. Standing on Shilla Hill and possibly called Starr Head when mentioned in 1552, it commands the Tarset Burn valley. In the eastern gable wall is a square headed entrance into the byre and it's dressed stone door jambs shows how two doors were fitted and locked from tunnels with drawbars. The inside of the byre is full of rubble from the collapsed vault and at the west end are possibly the remains of a mural stair, that gave access to the first floor living accommodation. Raided in 1583 by the Scottish Armstrong family and in the mid 17th century, Stairhead was one of a group of places held by the Hunter family. Earthworks to the east and north-east are the remains of two less substantial rectangular farmsteads. The thick walls of roughly squared large stone blocks, laid irregularly, provided first floor living accommodation and ground floor shelter for their livestock. Occupied by middle-rank farmers, clusters of bastles could give support from cross-border reivers. Half a mile north-west is Boghead Bastle and half a mile south-east is Waterhead Bastle.