Hepple Tower, Northumberland
Hepple, near Morpeth
Hepple Tower is a partially collapsed 14th century tower house situated close to the road side at the eastern end of the small village of Hepple.
The tower still stands to 40 feet high with walls 6 feet thick and a vaulted basement and can be accessed from the roadside.
~ History ~
1415 ~ Sir Robert Ogle, constable of Norham Castle, sheriff and King's diplomat to Scotland, builds himself a tower at Hepple, in addition to his beloved Bothal Castle, which he obtained from his younger brother by a combination of force and cunning.
Sir Robert's uncle Thomas Grey is executed as a result of the Southampton Plot, to depose King Henry V in favour of Edmund Mortimer, second surviving son of King Edward III. Sir Robert's cousin also suffers the same fate for his involvement.
1419 ~ Sir Robert is appointed constable of Wark Castle and later Berwick-upon-Tweed and Roxburgh castles.
1436 ~ The loyal Sir Robert dies, leaving his son, also named Robert, captain of Berwick Castle, to inherit his title and lands.
Robert is captured by the Scots during a border raid and later ransomed for 750 marks.
1437 ~ Robert is appointed Sheriff of Northumberland.
1455 ~ As the political factions between Richard of York and the Duke of Somerset spills over into physical violence, Robert supports the House of York. He brings a force of 600 men from the Scottish Marches to support the Yorkist cause at the Battle of St Albans. Richard, Duke of York, and his allies, the Neville Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, defeat the royal army commanded by Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, who is killed.
1461 ~ Following the Yorkist victory over the Lancastrian's in the largest and most bloodiest battle ever to be fought on English soil with some 50,000 men involved, amidst a snowstorm, Robert Ogle and his men assist in the hunt for the deposed King Henry, besieging him at Carham Castle.
For his loyal service to the House of York Robert is created Baron Ogle and placed in command of the Earl of Northumberland's forfeited castles; Alnwick, Warkworth and Prudhoe.
1465 ~ Baron Robert Ogle is awarded with the Lordship of Redesdale and Harbottle Castle.
1541 ~ A survey records the tower as decayed and in poor repair after it is burnt by the Scots.
The Ogles abandon the tower and transfer their court to nearby Great Tosson Tower.