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Heaton, Alan De Jesmonds House

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
King Johns Palace; Adam of Jesmonds Camera

In the civil parish of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
1974 county of Tyne and Wear.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ26766566
Latitude 54.98492° Longitude -1.58337°

Heaton, Alan De Jesmonds House has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


The Camera of Adam is important as an example of a 13th century fortified hall house and as such is an early example of this type of structure. It has further importance due to its association with the infamous Sheriff of Northumberland, Adam of Jesmond. The monument includes the remains of a fortified medieval hall house known locally as the Camera of Adam or King John's Palace. It is situated on high ground overlooking Heaton Park. The visible remains include the north wall, north west turret, and part of the east wall and earthworks to north and south. The remains are constructed of coarse grained sandstone blocks and are Listed Grade II. The north wall survives to its full length of approximately 12m, and stands to a height of about 8m. There is a modern doorway in the ground floor level and a large window in the first floor level, which would have lit the principal room, the hall. On the west end of the south face of the north wall are two doorway jambs. The north west turret is 3m square and stands to about 8m. The north end of the east wall survives to approximately 8m high. The height of the wall decreases to the south and where the survival of the first floor level ceases, approximately 7m from north wall, it survives to a height of only 6.5m. The ground floor level survives for a further 3m. The northernmost 3m of the east wall are thickened by an extra 0.2m and probably supported a turret on the north east corner. A window is present at the point where the thickness of the wall is reduced. Internally both the north and east wall are reduced in thickness at the first floor level to create a projecting internal ledge to support the floor. The remains of the west wall can be seen as a low earthwork extending out from below the doorway jambs in the north wall and following the edge of the tennis court for 10m before becoming indiscernible. The earliest reference to the monument is in 1267 when it is mentioned in a licence to crenellate for Tarset Castle. Its construction has been associated with Adam of Jesmond, who was Sheriff of Newcastle in 1262-4 and 1267. It is believed to have been abandoned by the 17th century, though it continued in use as farm buildings until 1897 when attached buildings to east and west, and a stable within, were removed and consolidation of the remains was carried out. (Scheduling Report)

Sometimes said to have been granted a licence to crenellate. It is mentioned in the unusually detailed licence granted to John Comyn for Tarset Castle in 1267 (Tarset was to be 'fortified in the same manner as the existing chamber of Adam de Gesemuth (Jesmond) at Heaton, near Newcastle') but there is no evidence that this house itself was granted a licence to crenellate.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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