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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 52105

Hob Uid: 52105
Location :
North Yorkshire
Hambleton
West Tanfield
Grid Ref : SE2379377428
Summary : The earthwork and built remains at Magdalen Field are thought to be medieval in origin. The site is surrounded by the River Ure on all sides except the east, where there is a well defined bank and ditch, with a probable entrance to the north. The area contains one major enclosure and fragmentary traces of a second. The main earthwork comprises a well defined bank with outer ditch and is divided into two courts by an internal bank, with remains of building foundations in the north. The west bank has massive internal slopes of varying length and suggests that buildings abutted on this side. A tower or well was built into the scarp forming the north side of the second enclosure. There is, however, no justification for supposing that this second enclosure ever existed as such, and the two minor banks on its east and west sides could have originated by husbandry.It is possible that the site may have been the manor house of John Marmion who was granted licence to crenellate in 1314 for his dwelling "in the wood of Tanfield, co. York".
More information : [centred SE 2380 7742] Magdalen Field [T.I.] (1)

Magdalen Field "The Rev. W.C.Lukis, a few years ago, excavated the foundations of a large house supposed to have been a private chapel, probably dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen" (a) (2)

The main earthwork at Magdalen Field, though suggestive of a Roman Camp is without question mediaeval. North of the smaller enclosure are the ruined foundation walls of an old chapel, and the ground-plan of walls and a round tower can at times be traced. (3)

The earthworks have been resurveyed at 1:2500. Magdalen Field is situated on the western extremity of a high open spur overlooking the River Ure, and is inaccessible from all sides but the east. On this side is a well defined bank and ditch which divides the spur and has a probable entrance at the N. The separated area contains one major enclosure and fragmentary traces of a second. The main earthwork comprises a well defined bank with outer ditch and is divided into two courts by an internal bank, with remains of building foundations in the north. The west bank has massive internal slopes of varying length and suggests that buildings abbutted on this side. The build up of the SW corner to a height of approx. 4 m. also suggests a possible corner tower as any structure just a few feet higher at this point would have commanding views. The remains of the supposed tower mentioned by Allcroft exists at SE 2380 7739 and consists of a ruined circular stone wall built into a bank and now partly covered by earth. It appears badly sited for use as a tower, and seems more likely to have been a well. This 'tower' or well is built into the scarp forming the N. side of the second 'enclosure'. There is, however, no justification for supposing that this second enclosure ever existed as such, and the two minor banks on its E. & W. sides could have originated by husbandry. The inclusion of these banks by Allcroft (see Auth.3) was probably due to the reference of an early motte and bailey, as S. of the enclosure the ground rises steeply to its highest point on the edge of the spur. The hill is of natural formation however, and there are no remains of a motte and bailey within Magdalen field.

The site as a whole probably represents a variation of the conventional manor house with outer fold. The building foundations indicate a structure of larger proportions than a single chapel, and probably incorporates the remains of a Md. manor house as well.
(4)

SE 237 774. Earthwork in Magdalen Field. Scheduled No NY/275. (5)

According to feedback received via the PastScape website, this may have been the site of a medieval manor house owned by Sir John Marmion. This is based on the assumption that the licence to crenellate granted to John Marmion on 24th September 1314 for his dwelling, 'Lermitage', in the wood of Tanfeld, Yorkshire, was for this particular site. It is thought that such specific references to location were rare in the listing of English licences and therefore its highly likely that it refers this site in Magdalen Field. (6)

This source contains details of licences to crenellate granted in England in 1314. On 24th September 1314, the following entry was made: "Licence for John Marmion to crenellate his dwelling place which is called 'Lermitage' in his wood of Tanfeld, Co. York". (7)

The defensive dyke cutting off the high spur, the enclosure and some of the internal feature identified by authority 4 above are visible as earthworks on historical and recent air photos and on lidar imagery. The latter suggests that the eastern and western sides of the enclosure continue through the wooded slope to the natural escarpment formed by the old river terrace. (8-10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6", 1956.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book reference
Source details : ONB Yorks 101 NE 1928 p. 16
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Source Number : 10
Source : Light detection and ranging (lidar) airborne survey
Source details : LIDAR SE2377 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY DTM XX-XXX-XXXX
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : O.O.N.B.
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Earthwork of England (A. Allcroft) 1908 p. 447-9. (Plan)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ECW 29-MAY-62
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Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Hambleton District, 12-DEC-1996
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Source Number : 6
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : PastScape feedback received 07-APR-2010
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Source Number : 7
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Boynton, G.R. (2003). Calendar of Patent Rolls [accessed 14-APR-2010]
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Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/106G/UK/1181 RS 4039 20-FEB-1946
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Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SE2378 30-SEP-2002
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Probably built by 1314
Monument End Date : 1314
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Private Chapel, Enclosure, Dyke (Defence)
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY275
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY21614
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 27 NW 8
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 27 NW 8
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-05-29
End Date : 1962-05-29