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Name:Marmion Tower (former gatehouse of Tanfield Castle fortified manor), West Tanfield
NY SMR Number:MNY20475
Type of record:Building
Last edited:Feb 6 2019 4:04PM

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument () 13274: Marmion Tower (former gatehouse of Tanfield Castle fortified manor)
  • Conservation Area: West Tanfield Conservation Area
Grid Reference:SE 267 787
Parish:West Tanfield [2170]; Hambleton

Monument Type(s):

  • FORTIFIED MANOR HOUSE (15tH CENTURY to 16th Century - 1401 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • GATEHOUSE (15tH CENTURY to Modern - 1401 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • TOWER (15tH CENTURY to Modern - 1401 AD? to 2050 AD?)

Other References/Statuses

  • AMIE Reference / HOB UID: 52078 MARMION TOWER
  • National Monuments Record: SE27NE14

Full description

The Tower is both scheduled and Listed. (1)
The Marmion Tower is the 15th century gatehouse of Tanfield Castle of which there is no trace. It is likey that the castle was just a fortified manor house which has since been demolished. The plan of the manor house has not been identiifed. The Tower is a three story stone built building, square in plan with a projection in the north west corner containing a newel stair. The tower is barrel vaulted and has a guard room to the south and a turret above the battlements. There are interesting features such as an oriel window, a garderobe and a porter's squint. The possible builder of the Tower may have been William Fitz Hugh (d.1452), the manor passed to the Parr family in the Tudor period and in 1571 to William Cecil, Lord Burghley. (2)
An article discussing the licences granted to crenellate in Yorkshire was included in Medieval Yorkshire in 2017. Tanfield Castle is listed in the gazeteer with the date of the licence as 18th November 1348. (Davis, P) (3) Further information can be found on the website for the Gatehouse Gazeteer. An earlier licence to crenellate was granted to Sir John Marmion in 1314 for his house called L'Ermitage (see MNY21614). The 1348 licence, granted to his widow Matilda, is likely to be for the rebuilding of the manorial centre in the 14th century at Tanfield rather than for his house in the wood as the first licence refers to. The Gatehouse was not built under the licence but is an independent residence, possibly a dowager house. (Davis, P) (3,4)

Sources and further reading

<1>SNY6921 - Database File: North Yorkshire County Council. 2001. SAM Working. Boldrini, N. Access 97.
<2>SNY8716 - Dataset: English Heritage. Various. National Monuments Record / National Record of the Historic Environment. 52078.
<3>SNY22629 - Article: Medieval Yorkshire. 2017. Yorkshire Licences to Crenellate. Davis, P. p29-30&37.
<4>SNY22630 - Webpage: Philip Davis. The Gatehouse Gazeteer. Davis, P.

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