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Name:Magdalen Field, Earthwork Enclosure with a possible medieval fortified Manor House and Chapel, West Tanfield
NY SMR Number:MNY21614
Type of record:Monument
Last edited:Feb 6 2019 4:01PM

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument NY275: Magdalen Field earthwork
Grid Reference:SE 237 774
Parish:West Tanfield [2170]; Hambleton

Monument Type(s):

Other References/Statuses

Full description

Recorded on OS SMR map as "EWK Moat. + faint traces of an enclosure sited on a defended promontory." (1)
An article discussing the licences granted to crenellate in Yorkshire was included in Medieval Yorkshire in 2017. Tanfield, Magdalen Field is listed in the gazeteer with the date of the licence as 24th September 1314. (Davis, P) (2) Further information can be found on the website for the Gatehouse Gazeteer. It has been suggested that the earthworks are a motte and bailey castle but it is more likely that they form an Iron Age promontory fort but with the foundations of a medieval mansion within it. Another licence was granted in 1348 to the widow of Sir John Marmion, Matilda, which was likely to be for their manorial centre in West Tanfield at Marmion Tower. (See MNY20475) (Davis, P) (2,3)

Description from record MNY34198: NGR SE 238 774
NYCC SMR OS Card notes a site known as the Hermitage which is inaccessible on all sides but the east, where a well defined (in 1962) bank and ditch cross the spur. Within this area lies an enclosure comprising a well-defined bank without ditch and divided into two courts by an internal bank, with remains of building foundations in the northern part. Buildings probably abutted the western side of the enclosure, the south west corner of which may have supported a corner tower. Sheahan speaks of a lofty dilapidated tower gateway, and Rev. WC Lukis excavated the foundations of a large house, thought to have been a private chapel (21700114.0100). The remains may well have constituted part of a manor house as well, for in 1314, John Marmion received licence to crenellate his house called L' Hermitage in his wood of Tanfield. East of the main enclosure at NGR 2384.7743, lies a ruined circular stone wall built into a bank and interpreted either as a tower or a well.
1856 OS Map
This map names the area but shows no earthworks.
Subsequent maps show various earthworks.
Aerial Photograph
Feature shows on an aerial photographs of 1971, 1973 and 1967.
An enclosure known as the Hermitage is depicted by name only on the 1856 map and subsequent maps show various earthworks. Feature shows on aerial photographs of 1967, 1971 and 1973.
21.06.02 KJC 13.12.02 PAH 11.06.04 AG 10.09.04 AG 26.07.02 AG (4-20)

Merged record MNY34199 held duplicate information to MNY34198

Sources and further reading

<1>SNY8240 - Map: Ordnance Survey; NYCC. SMR Map Collection. SE 27 NW AP25.
<2>SNY22629 - Article: Medieval Yorkshire. 2017. Yorkshire Licences to Crenellate. Davis, P. p29-30&36.
<3>SNY22630 - Webpage: Philip Davis. The Gatehouse Gazeteer. Davis, P.
<4>SNY19132 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1897-1914. Ordnance Survey Second Edition 1:2500. 25" to the Mile.
<5>SNY17839 - Map: 1995 1:10,560 OVERLAY DALES MAPPING SURVEY 2001 1.
<6>SNY17971 - Bibliographic reference: ALLCROFT A 1908 EARTHWORKS OF ENGLAND P447/9.
<7>SNY17834 - Map: 1983 1:250,000 SOIL MAP OF ENGLAND & WALES.
<8>SNY9714 - Aerial Photograph: NYCC. Various. Aerial Photograph Collection. Various. 14.11.71 MERIDIAN RUN 30 FRAME 043 (016) 14.01.67 CUC AQQ67.
<9>SNY18101 - Bibliographic reference: ONB YORKS 1928 101NE P16.
<10>SNY18128 - Bibliographic reference: SHEEHAN JJ 1859 HISTORY AND TOPOGRAPHY OF THE CITY OF YORK 2 P558.
<11>SNY18204 - Bibliographic reference: Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. YAJ 1910/11 21 P299/301.
<12>SNY19130 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1930-1954. Ordnance Survey Fourth Edition 1:10560. 6" to the Mile.
<13>SNY18407 - Map: 1985 1:25,000 PATHFINDER 641.
<14>SNY18427 - Map: 1984 1:50,000 BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY MAP, MASHAM.
<15>SNY18410 - Map: 2000 1:25,000 EXPLORER 298.
<16>SNY1 - Card Index: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Record Card. Various authors.
<17>SNY8810 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1846-1863. Ordnance Survey First Edition 1:10560. 6" to the Mile.
<18>SNY9714 - Aerial Photograph: NYCC. Various. Aerial Photograph Collection. Various. 16.10.73 HSL RUN 41 FRAME 6344 08.06.67 CUC ARL62.
<19>SNY11459 - Database File: Ripon Community Archaeology Project. 2007. Ripon Community Archaeological Project Database - Phase I Project Area. Access Database. R721700114.0000.
<20>SNY18154 - Bibliographic reference: VCH N.RIDING 1914 P385.

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