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Historic England Research Records

Scargill Castle

Hob Uid: 19951
Location :
County Durham
Scargill
Grid Ref : NZ0536010720
Summary : The remains of a fortified house, a settlement and part of a field system of medieval date situated in the fields surrounding Castle Farm and Scargill Farm. The fortified house now stands among modern farm buildings 50 metres south-east of Castle Farm. The house was built during the 13th century and partially rebuilt during the 15th. The remains now comprise a gatehouse, standing to full height, with the remains of four adjacent ranges around a main courtyard to the east. An outer courtyard is attached to the south side of the south range. The settlement survives as a series of earthworks situated to the west of the fortified house. Two areas of ridge and furrow lying to the south and west of the house represent the remains of the extensive former field system.
More information : (NZ 05361072) Scargill Castle (NR) (In Ruins) (1)

The remains of a castle extant in 1323 comprising a late 15th century gatehouse opening on to a much ruined courtyard used as a farm-yard. On the north side of the gateway passage, now walled up, is a 20 ft high circular staircase, the upper part altered in recent times. The range of buildings on the north are completely ruined; those on the south and east are practically without any details of interest except that the north wall of the south range continues westward beyond the lines of the courtyard, flanking the east gateway. (2)

Generally as described. Apart from the gatehouse, which is in reasonable repair, the remains are in a poor condition. See
photographs.

A level area possibly an outer courtyard approximately 40 x 50m abutting the south and east sides of the courtyard appears to have been contained within a stone wall, the foundations of which are evident on the north and east side. Earthworks surveyed at 1:2500. (3)

The castle and surrounding area was surveyed by RCHME at 1:2500 scale as part of the Durham SAMs project in 1991.

The remains of a castle at NZ 054 102 comprising a gatehouse and ruined courtyard are as described by authorities (2) and (3) although the gatehouse is now in a dangerous state, the roof having collapsed, demolishing both floors. For current architectural description of this monument see NBR DURHAM PRN 1508 and the DOE list.

There are earthwork remains of a dispersed village settlement in the pasture fields around the castle and also an extensive field system of broad ridge and furrow. Adjoining the level platform to the south of the castle is a narrow enclosure extending away to the south west, measuring 20m wide and 70m long; it is formed by two parallel stony banks, measuring 2m wide and up to 1m high and has a scarp at 90 degrees halfway along its length.
The land in front of the gatehouse slopes steeply down to the stream and has numerous hollow ways incised into it, one of these is marked on the OS map (1) as the main road before the construction of the bridge. Also set into the hillside is a corn drying kiln, a circular scoop 3.6m in diameter and up to 1m high with a flue 1.4m wide extending to the south west.

In the field immediately west of Castle Farm are the earthwork remains of a building complex comprising at least one multi-roomed building defined by robber trenches, which stands on a stone revetted platform it also has an enclosed yard attached, measuring 10m by 15m. Some 12m north of this is a large bank, measuring 45m long, 5m wide and 1.5m high and a ditch 6m wide, this is probably he end of a land boundary associated with the surrounding field system. On the other side of the valley, to the west of Scargill farm, are the foundations of a substantial building, measuring 1m wide and up to 0.5m high and containing ashlar blocks. They outline two multi-roomed buildings one of which has a circular stone feature in one corner which could be an oven or the foundation of a newel staircase.

A detailed archive report and plan is available from the NMRC
Swindon.(4)

The remains of Scargill fortified house, settlement and part of the associated field system, situated in the fields around Castle Farm and Scargill Farm. The fortified house now stands among modern farm buildings 50 metres south-east of Castle Farm. The house was built during the 13th century and partially rebuilt during the 15th. It is thought that Edward II was entertained there when on a visit to Scargill in 1323. The remains now comprise a gatehouse, and the remains of 4 adjacent ranges lying around a courtyard to the east. An outer courtyard is attached to the south side of the southern range. The gatehouse is built of large, sandstone blocks and measures around 9 metres square. It is 3 storeys high and retains part of a tiled roof. The gatehouse originally led onto a rectangular courtyard, now used as the farmyard of the present farm. The remains of rectangular ranges of buildings survive on all 4 sides of the courtyard, visible as lengths of walling, standing from 6 to more than 20 courses high. The west wall of the west range survives above ground for its full length, running north and south of the gatehouse. One wall of the south range survives above ground level, containing a square-headed doorway. Parts of the east range remain visible, including a section of wall at the southern end which contains the lower part of two door jambs. These are interpreted as having formed a doorway which once gave access to further buildings, east of the east range. A length of wall at the northern end contains the lower part of a 3.5 metre wide fireplace, suggesting that a kitchen may once have occupied the ground floor of the east range. The remains of the north range have been buried beneath later buildings.

The remains of part of a dispersed settlement are visible as a line of 3 sets of earthworks west of the house. The northernmost group appears as the foundations of a group of rectangular buildings and associated yards and enclosures. Further earthworks lie to the east and north, including one interpreted as a pond. The second set of earthworks lies west of Scargill Farm and is believed to comprise the remains of at least 2 buildings. A circular feature, 2 metres in diameter, attached to the south side of the easternmost building is interpreted as an oven. The third part of the settlement is located immediately north of Scargill Farm. The remains of ridge and furrow cultivation are visible to the south of the fortified house and west of Scargill Farm. Scheduled. (5)

Listed by Cathcart King. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1856
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York, North Riding, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 39-40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DS 08-MAR-73
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Colin Lofthouse /19-NOV-1991/RCHME:Durham SAMs
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 06-Oct-00
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 513
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number :
Source : Scargill Castle/ink survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Settlement, Ridge And Furrow, Oven, Building, Enclosure, Pond
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Fortified House, Courtyard House, Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Fortified House, Gatehouse, Courtyard House
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 121
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 111356
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 32730
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 01 SE 9
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 19954
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 19954
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 01 SE 9
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-03-08
End Date : 1973-03-08
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: DURHAM SAMS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-06-01
End Date : 1991-12-01
Associated Activities : Primary, SCARGILL CASTLE GATEHOUSE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SCARGILL CASTLE (TIME TEAM)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31