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Corbridge, Northumberland

Vicar's Pele, Corbridge

Last Updated:

27 Jul 2023

Corbridge, Northumberland

This is a

Pele Tower

54.974292, -2.019480

Founded in 

14th c

Current status is


Designer (if known):



The Vicar's Pele is one of the best and most well preserved Pele Towers in the north, and makes for a real statement in Corbridge's town centre.

The tower was constructed in the 14th century using Roman stones extracted from the Corstopitum Roman Town, which covered the town as well as the fields west of Corbridge. This follows a similar pattern to many of Corbridge's early buildings. St Andrews Church, Hole Farm and some other buildings also include some Roman assets.

From its outset it was used as the vicar of St Andrew's residence, providing refuge and defence against raiders from the north from at least the 1300s. However, this or a similar building was referenced in a list drawn up for Henry V in 1415 so it may be older.

It continued as a vicarage right through to the 17th century. After this time it laid abandoned until substantial restoration and re-roofing by the Duke of Northumberland in 1910.

The building was previously an events venue but now contains a popular micro-brewery.

The Historic England listing states:

Listing Description (if available)

"This monument includes a pele tower of medieval date, situated within the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church. The tower is rectangular in plan measuring approximately 8.3m by 6.4m and is constructed from large squared sandstone blocks, much of which is reused Roman masonry. The tower stands to two storeys in height with a barrel vaulted basement. The tower’s upper level includes angle turrets and a parapet, which stands roughly 9.1m above ground level. The entrance to the tower is via a pointed-arched doorway set towards the north end of the east wall. The door is of oak boards bolted onto an iron grille. The windows in the tower mainly comprise of small chamfered loops with the addition of larger trefoil-arched lights at first floor level. The tower was mentioned as the property of the vicar in a list of fortalices drawn up for Henry V in 1415, however, the style of the building suggests it was constructed around 1300-1350. The tower remained as a vicarage until the 17th century. It was abandoned in the 17th or 18th century and was restored and re-roofed by the Duke of Northumberland in 1910. Vicar’s Pele Tower is a listed building Grade I." (

Corbridge is relatively unchanged from the 1850s even to the modern day, which is exhibited in the maps above from 1865 and 1896. Though a lower resolution, the Vicars Pele is illustrated as the small rectangular building in the south east of the churchyard. The market place it resides on is of the exact configuration we see today, including the iron market cross which was erected in the early 1800s to replace the stone cross which sits on Middle Street.

The Vicars Pele is clearly illustrated in the Ordnance Survey map of 1922. Corbridge had by this point densified eastwards, with terraced buildings erected north of Princes Street with a contemporary school constructed also. With this being said, Corbridge retains its historic feel to this day.


The Vicars Pele in 2023, while in use as a microbrewery.


An artists illustration of the Vicars Pele in 1820. Single storey dwellings used to occupy the north side of the Market Place, hence the building shown to its left.


The Vicars Pele can be seen on this undated photograph of the Market Place and Cross. Source:

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