Peel towers, also spelt pele, are small fortified keeps or tower housesCharacteristic style of Scottish castle building in the form of a tall tower, surrounded by one or more wings in L or Z-shaped floor plans in its later development. built on both sides of the border between England and Scotland, mainly from the mid-14th century until about 1600. They were temporary refuges from cross-border raiding parties, and often attached to manor houses, farms, or churches. Some peel towers were incorporated into later houses, as in the case of Turton Tower Former manor house incorporating a pele tower in Turton, Lancashire. in Lancashire, and others were developed into castles.
Usually about 14 metres (46 ft) by 7 metres (23 ft) externally, peel towers were typically two to four storeys in height with thick stone walls, each storey containing a single room. The lower storey was used to shelter livestock, and a narrow staircase or ladder led to the upper floors.
Although of little use against regular forces, the towers did provide a degree of protection against cross-border raiders, but some historians have suggested that the towers, in at least some cases, were built as much as expressions of status and ambition as for defensive purposes.