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Rudchester Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Heddon On The Wall.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ11266733
Latitude 55.00074° Longitude -1.82554°

Rudchester Hall has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


House, with a late C13 core - tower house. Remodelled and extended in the late C18 and early C19. Originally L-plan with later buildings filling the re-entrant angle; of two storeys and three bays in Gothick style. The late C13 walls can be seen in the south east corner of the building.

The exterior of Rudchester Hall is 18th century but the building still incorporates part of the late 13th century hall built by Simon of Rudchester. The old parts of the house can only be identified by the great thickness of the walls at the east end. (Dodds 1926).
Rudchester Hall incorporates part of a 13th century tower. The drawing rooms, with walls of great thickness, are a portion of this tower (Brown 1935).
NZ 11266735. The south east corner of Rudchester Hall incorporates the remains of the early tower, square in plan, with walls 1.5m thick, preserved intact up to the present roof level, save where modern windows and doors have been inserted. In the east wall is a small - apparently original - window, and within the tower, a stone stairway is preserved (F1 HC 11-JUN-1956)
The house is now, externally, of late 18th century Gothick appearance, with hipped roofs. There is an entrance front facing east of four irregular bays and a south front of three bays. Structurally the oldest part is at the south east corner where there are the walls of what appears to be a tower, c.8.5m by 6.9m externally with walls 1m-1.3m thick of good quality squared stone. To the west of this is a short wing with walls 0.7m thick of small roughly squared rubble with quite well-squared angle quoins; west again is a narrower pent-roofed extension (containing a stair) in similar fabric. To the north of the former tower is a three-bay range again with walls c.0.7m thick, of coursed roughly-squared stone, with quite large roughly-shaped quoins at its northern end.
The relatively small dimensions of the medieval building suggest that it may have served as a solar tower to a separate hall block, rather than a residence in its own right. It is known that a hall was being built by Simon of Rudchester in 1285; the tower may be a little later (the ogee-headed window suggests a 14th century date) although the parapet is of relatively early character and has been compared to that at Aydon.
It seems most likely that the hall block stood on the west side of the tower, as the west wall is rather thinner than the others (although this could be the result of later changes). The fact that the north west corner of the tower has been largely removed hints that there may have been a newel stair in this position (Ryder 1994).
The house appears externally to be a Georgian country house constructed of random sandstone blocks, with a hipped slate roof, in an L-shaped plan. However within the fabric of the house is a pele tower in the southeast of the current building, though this has been much altered through time. The pele tower is thought to date, though only the basis of documentary references, to the later 13th century around 1285. Only one remaining Medieval window survives with a cusped head of 14th century date. It is unclear if the pele possessed a basement level.
The remainder of the Manor House is of late 18th century date and retains many original features. The discovery of inscribed Roman stones in this period suggest groundworks, and use of material from the adjacent Roman fort, for the construction of this building. A series of later extensions to the Manor House are noted, though now partly removed (Watson 2009). (Northumberland HER)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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