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Historic England Research Records

Stockton Castle

Hob Uid: 26890
Location :
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : NZ4463018650
Summary : Site of a 12th century fortified manor house and moat, later castle. Owned by the Bishops of Durham. In a ruinous state in 1647 and demolished 1652.
More information : NZ 44631865 Stockton Castle (NR) (site of) (NAT)
NZ 44551850 Moat (NR) (site of) (NAT) (1)

Stockton Castle was a manor house owned from at least the C12th by the Bishops of Durham. The site, known as Castle Field, was an irregular four sided area on the bank of the River Tees, defended on the S and W by a large ditch, which is now built over. The 'Castle' contained a chapel, two towers and a hall, which were in ruins by 1647 and destroyed in 1652. (2-3)

A section of wall in Castle Gate, NZ 4465 1874, 4.0m long by 1.2m high, is of old dressed stone with the remains of a plinth course visible. It is not possible to connect this wall definitely with the castle. No other remains which could be part of the castle or manor house were seen in the area. In view of Wood's plan (see illustration card) it is probable that the description 'castle' was an early misnomer for a fortified manor house. (4)

The castle was excavated in 1965, however, owing to the heavy disturbance of the site and the limited time allowed for the dig, little was uncovered. Two drains were excavated, presumably of medieval date constructed of reused 12th century masonry. The robbed out foundations of a building were also uncovered. A layer containing 17th century pottery and evidence for burning probably represents the destruction of the castle after 1647. (5)

The Parliamentary Commissioners, reporting upon its state in 1647, wrote " that the bishop's castle situate at the south end of the town by the river Tease (sic") is ruinous and in great decay. . . . The castle hath had a great moat about it, but the same is now for want of cleaning filled up in part, and within that moat hath heretofore been orchards and gardens, but all destroyed. . . . There hath likewise been a park, but the same hath been disparked." The lands of the estate were sold, and the castle was completely dismantled. (6)

Further reference to the manor house, Stockton castle. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1857
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Durham, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 359
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Durham, volume three
Source details :
Page(s) : 353-54
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JHO 14-SEP-53
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Source Number : 4a
Source details : Plan of Stockton 1826 (J Wood)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Archaeology in eastern Yorkshire : essays in honour of T C M Brewster
Source details :
Page(s) : 176-188
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Source Number : 6
Source : English Episcopal Palaces : Province of York
Source details : Niemeyer, N. 'Introductory Chapter'
Page(s) : 10
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Source Number : 7
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : Raine, J. (the younger), 1876, 'Survey of the manor house of Stockton, commonly called Stockton castle, taken after the death of Bishop Pilkington'
Page(s) : 120-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Castle, Moat
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Demolished 1652
Monument End Date : 1652
Monument Start Date : 1652
Monument Type : Moat, Castle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cleveland)
External Cross Reference Number : 756
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 41 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 41 NW 5
Start Date : 1953-09-14
End Date : 1953-09-14
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER STREET, STOCKTON CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1966-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT CHANDLER'S WHARF
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31