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Wylam Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Monks House; Sporting House

In the civil parish of Wylam.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ11136462
Latitude 54.97607° Longitude -1.82763°

Wylam Hall has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


House, built in the 15th century with 18th-19th century alterations, now divided into apartments. Built on the site of an 11th century Benedictine grange of Tynemouth Priory. Wylam Manor was granted to the Priory of Tynemouth some time before 1120, possibly when Tynemouth Priory was founded in 1085. In 1264 an Ecclesiastical court was held here. The house was destroyed by the Scots in 1297 and again in the 14th century and restored in 1405. Prior Whethamstead rebuilt the house strongly enough to resist raiders, being described as a tower, but not included in the usual surveys. A dovecot and a ruined chapel are mentioned in 1583-4. The house is an irregular, rambling building with a 15th century core, unusually being three times longer than it is wide. It was altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. (PastScape)

House, now subdivided into 3 apartments. C15 altered in C18 and several periods up to late C19. Older parts random rubble, late C19 parts ashlar. Welsh slate roofs. Rambling irregular plan. Garden front has doorway with bolection- moulded eared surround, cornice and pulvinated frieze on stone consoles, and swan-neck pediment. C20 French window to right. Small C15 window to left. On 1st floor 4 renewed 12-pane sashes in architraves with moulded sills and wedge lintels, above architraves grooved in imitation of voussoirs. Left of this the stump of a demolished wing, and left again the Victorian addition with projecting chimney and 2-light mullioned windows. Rear of this block has pointed- arch staircase window with intersecting glazing bars. Rear wings have various windows C17 - C20.
Gabled roofs. C15 block has flat coping with kneelers; and C17 finials with roll moulding and obelisks on right gable. One stone gable stack, one tall brick chimney and many C19 brick stacks.
Interior of C15 block has walls 5 - 6 feet thick and a tunnel-vaulted ground floor 62 feet long with a mural chamber on south side. Ceiling of vault given plaster rib vault with, in parts, triple shafted pilasters and Gothick capitals; probably c1820 and altered later. Circular iron Gothick staircase with pointed arches between square balusters, also c1820.
Attached to rear of C15 block is arcade of four C17/early C18 round brick arches.
House belonged to Tynemouth Priory C12 - C15. The drive was used by George Stephenson for early experiments in making steam engines run uphill without rack and pinion. (Listed Building Report)

The older part of the building is a hemispherically vaulted rectangular building dated as C15. This is probably best considered as a grandeur type bastle rather than a tower although these building were sometimes called towers in contemporary documents. Rich suggests the building dates from 1405 which would be a very early date for a bastle type building although this building was not a fortified farmhouse but a residential block for a small community of monks and might arguably be best seen as derived from the hall house tradition.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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