Clessley Tower

Point/Elder name :

Grid Reference : NT 6468 1040

1545 :

Remains :

Access :

Archaeology? :

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Clessy

This site location is not certain. It is possible that it was at the bottom of the track down to the Jed from Falside, on the east side overlooking the Jed. The site is now a complex set of earthworks and platforms; discerning a real pattern is difficult. There are mounds and suggestions of activity on the east side of the track as well. The modern OS map has it on the east side. However, the Military survey 1747-1750 has ‘Clasypeel’ on the other side of the Jed, which might be the Longslack settlement site. It is not on the 1694 roll. In 1797 a William White of ‘Clesspool’ paid tax on two farm horses. It features on later maps ½ a mile further to the east, as Clesiped in 1821, Coslyped in 1822, and Clesipeel in 1840. In 1858 the site is clearly in decline, being described by the OS as ‘two cottages in a very dilapidated condition, uninhabited, the property of Lady Montague; these cottages are erected on the site of an ancient Border Peel. These towers were reputedly farmed by Olivers, who were all buried at Soudan Kirk’. The Inventory survey in 1932 states ‘no structural remains survive’. The cottages themselves have long gone. While some conjecture is possible only excavation would confirm building locations and dimensions.

In the same raid in 1513 as on Hindhaughead, an East and West Fawsyde were burnt by Sir John Ratcliffe’s party “with a pele of lyme and stone in it” (Morton’s Monastic Annals P22). Given the proximity to Hindhaughead it is possibly that the present Clessy site is East Fawsyde, with another unlocated site on the other side of the burn.