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Historic England Research Records

Manor House

Hob Uid: 25718
Location :
Darlington
Neasham
Grid Ref : NZ3460011000
Summary : Manor house with a medieval core, encased and extended circa 1876. The medieval, rubble-built main block has a 17th century bay to the west, a 19th century bay to the east and two 19th century wings to the north. The house is surrounded by a moat, part of which has been converted into an ornamental pond. The moat is in turn surrounded by an outer enclosure comprising a earthen bank and ditch. A number of earthworks are visible in the area between the moat and the outer enclosure. These may represent earlier land divisions or village earthworks. A late 19th century excavation uncovered the foundations of a late 12th century gatehouse close to the house.
More information : Area: NZ 3461 1100 Manor House [NR]
Moat [NR]
Intrenchment [NR] (1)

The manor-house of Dinsdale is mentioned in 1537. The present manor-house is mainly Georgian and occupies the ancient site. It stands within a square enclosure surrounded by double-moats. Late 19th century excavations revealed the foundations of a large gate-house of late-12th century date which had contained vaulting and a newel stair. (2-4)

The name of the present house was confirmed to be `Manor House'. It has been heavily restored, the north front being modern and the south and east walls covered by imitation timber-framing. The west wall and north-west wing are built with rubble masonry. Photographs in the owner's possession show the 1878 excavations as immediately east of the present house and a 1716 painting shows a gate-house to the south east. All the earthworks are grass-covered and the construction of the banks is not visible. The inner and outer moats have been divided into enclosures by intermediate banks and ditches. (5-5a)

Earthworks surveyed at 1/2500. (6)

NZ 345 110. Deserted Medieval Village of Low Dinsdale. (7-8)

No change to the manor house earthworks, but the extensions on the east side have been ploughed out. These probably represented remnants of tenants tofts rather than those of a village. Published survey (25") revised. (9)

NZ 346 110 Manor House (NAT)
Earthworks (NR) (10)

NZ 346 109. Earthworks of Manor House. Scheduled. (11)

The Manor House. Manor house, probably late Medieval core; encased and extended c1876. This was the home of the Surtees family from the early 12th century until the 19th century. Grade II*. (12)

Existing survey revised by RCHME during a project on scheduled monuments in County Durham.
The earthworks comprise an outer polygonal enclosure defined by a ditch up to 1.5 m deep, fronting an earthen bank standing up to 2.5 m high above the ditch bottom. The inner scarp of the bank is 1.8 m high; some stone is visible in the matrix of the bank. What may have been an early entrance through the outer enclosure is located in the south-east where a hollow way 1.2 m deep leads into the interior. In the north half of the enclosure is a sub-circular moat surrounding the manor house. The broad U-shaped moat is up to 2 m deep, has been converted into an ornamental pond on its north side, and is crossed by a bridge to the south-south-east. Between the outer enclosure and the moat lie a series of scarps and banks, some linear, some irregular, and no higher than 1.3 m, which cut across one another without forming a coherent pattern. They are all truncated by the outer perimeter and/or the moat, suggesting that they may represent preserved fragments of earlier land divisions or village earthworks. Between the moat and Low Dinsdale farm a 33 m square levelled area is defined by scarps up to 0.6 m high, and is shown on the OS map of 1914 as a fenced area; this may originally have been a tennis court, bowling green or garden feature. The present manor house is superficially of 19th century Domestic Revival style, but may have earlier Medieval features beneath the exterior (13a). Late 19th century excavations immediately to the north-east of the manor-house discovered `the foundations and lower story (sic) of a large gate-house' which had a `square newel stairway and chambers which had been vaulted' (13b). The excavations were rapidly backfilled without being planned. This would suggest that originally access across the inner moat may have been a temporary bridge in the north-east which has left no trace; the stone bridge which crosses the moat in the south would thus appear to be a later feature. (13)

NZ 3460 1099. Medieval moated manorial site of Low Dinsdale at the Manor House. Scheduled RSM No 20873. (14)

Listed as a strong house by Cathcart King. (15)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6", map 1924
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Durham, volume three
Source details : Victoria County History Durham Vol 3 1928 p217
Page(s) : 217
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Source Number : 10
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10 000 map 1971
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Source Number : 11
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs England 1978 p23
Page(s) : 23
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Source Number : 12
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (Listed Buildings) Dist of Darlington Durham 27-JAN-1988 p53
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Source Number : 13
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Peter Topping/29-JUL-1991/RCHME: Durham SAMs Project
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Source Number : 13a
Source : County Durham
Source details :
Page(s) : 356
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Source Number : 13b
Source : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source details : Proc Soc Antiqs Newcastle IX 1899 p61
Page(s) : 61
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Vol(s) : 9
Source Number : 14
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 27/1/94
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Source Number : 15
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 140
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Source : Low Dinsdale/ink survey
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Source : Low Dinsdale/pencil survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Buildings of England
Source details : Pevsner, N, 1953. Buildings of England: Durham p181
Page(s) : 181
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Source Number : 4
Source : Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland
Source details : Trans Durham & Northumb Architec and Archaeol Soc 4 1890-5 p22
Page(s) : 22
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Vol(s) : 4
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DSmith/03-JUN-1957/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 5a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Major A.B. Surtees, Owner
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 RL/27-MAY-1963/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 7
Source : Deserted Medieval Villages: Studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 186
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Source Number : 8
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : APs (OS 66/217 066-7)
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Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 RE/11-NOV-1981/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Enclosure, Moat, Fortified Manor House, Boundary, Village
Evidence : Earthwork, Extant Building, Demolished Building, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1167
Monument Type : Gatehouse
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Manor House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : c1876
Monument End Date : 1886
Monument Start Date : 1866
Monument Type : Manor House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : By 1991
Monument End Date : 1991
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Ornamental Pond
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20873
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 79
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Durham)
External Cross Reference Number : 183
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 350452
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 31 SW 16
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, MANOR HOUSE,LOW DINSDALE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1800-01-01
End Date : 1899-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 31 SW 16
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1957-06-03
End Date : 1957-06-03
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 31 SW 16
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-05-27
End Date : 1963-05-27
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 31 SW 16
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1981-11-11
End Date : 1981-11-11
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: DURHAM SAMS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-06-01
End Date : 1991-12-01