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Historic England Research Records

Marmion Tower

Hob Uid: 52078
Location :
North Yorkshire
Hambleton
West Tanfield
Grid Ref : SE2677678718
Summary : Marmion Tower is the 15th century gatehouse of the now otherwise demolished Tansfield Castle, a fortified manor house. The tower is named after the Marmion family that owned the manor. A licence to crenellate (in other words a licence or the freedom to build- or convert a residence into a castle) here was given in 1348, for Matilda (or Maud), the widow of John Marmion but it is possible that there was never a large "castle" in the conventional sense, only the fortified manor house. This licence may have been a repeat of an earlier licence issued to John Marmion in 1314. The precise plan of the manor house has not yet been identified. The gatehouse tower itself may have been built by William Fitz Hugh, who died in 1452. The tower is a three storey stone building, roughly square in plan, with a projection at the north-west corner containing a newel stair. The gateway is barrel vaulted and has a guardroom to the south. The stair leads to the rooms above and ends in a turret above the battlements. The tower features a fine oriel window to the first floor, and other details of interest include the garderobe (latrine) and a porter's "squint". The site is now in the care of English Heritage.
More information : SE 2673 7873. Rectory [T.I.] on site of Tanfield Castle [G.T.]. SE
2677 7871. Marmion Tower. SE 2675 7870. Wall [G.T.] (1)

The 15th century gateway to Tanfield Castle is in perfect condition but there is no trace of the castle itself, for which license to crenellate was granted in 1348, and it is doubtful if it was ever
built. Leland says there was only the gateway and a manor house on the site. A vaulted well house about 60 ft west of the gateway and a wall by the river may be associated with the manor house. (2-5)

Ground photos. (5)

The Marmion Gatehouse, 13th and early 15th century building, of
rectangular plan, three storeyed with embattled top. Grade 1. (7)

SE 2677 7871. Marmion Tower (former gatehouse of Tanfield Castle fortified manor). Scheduled Number 13274. (8)

Noted as a possible castle by Cathcart King. (9)

A conservation statement for Marmion Castle was published in 2002. (10)

An initial licence to crenellate was given in 1314 for Sir John Marmion's house called L' Ermitage and was repeated in 1348 when granted to his widow Matilda (Maud). (11)

The primary source for the date of crenellation is the Calendar of Patent Rolls. (12)

The possible builder of Marmion Tower gatehouse may have been Wiliam Fitz Hugh, who died in 1452. The guide also includes a useful brief description of the main architectural features of the gatehouse. In the Tudor period the manor passed to the Parr family (relatives of the sixth wife of Henry VIII) and in 1571 to William Cecil, Lord Burghley. (13)




Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" map
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Source Number : 2
Source : The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543
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Source Number : 11
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Philip Davis. 2009. "The gatehouse: <> Last updated 17-DEC-2009 [Accessed 15-MAR-2009].
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Source Number : 12
Source : Calendar of Patent Rolls
Source details :
Page(s) : 210
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1348-1350
Source Number : 13
Source : Heritage unlocked: Guide to free sites in Yorkshire and the north east
Source details :
Page(s) : 18-19
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Source Number : 3
Source : Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland
Source details :
Page(s) : XXXVII
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Vol(s) : 4, 1890-95
Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York, North Riding, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 384-389
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Field Investigator, ISS, 01-AUG-1976
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Bedale Rural District, AUG-1960
Page(s) : 45
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Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 03-Apr-92
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Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Hambleton, 30-AUG-88
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Vol(s) : 1440
Source Number : 9
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) : 533
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Source Number : 10
Source : Marmion Tower:conservation statement
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Licence to crenellate 1314
Monument End Date : 1314
Monument Start Date : 1314
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Licence to crenellate
Monument End Date : 1348
Monument Start Date : 1348
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C15
Monument End Date : 1500
Monument Start Date : 1401
Monument Type : Gatehouse, Fortified Manor House
Evidence : Extant Building, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13274
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 332681
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 374
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 27 NE 14
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 27 NE 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1976-08-01
End Date : 1976-08-01