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Archdeacon Newton Manor

In the civil parish of Archdeacon Newton.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Darlington.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ25431710
Latitude 54.54877° Longitude -1.60758°

Archdeacon Newton Manor has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

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


The moated manorial site and the deserted manorial settlement of Archdeacon Newton are reasonably well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. They form an important medieval complex which will add greatly to our understanding of medieval settlement and society.
The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement, a moated manorial site and a fragment of rig and furrow at Archdeacon Newton, situated on the East Durham Plateau. The remains of the Archdeacon of Durham's manor are contained within an irregularly shaped enclosure. This enclosure measures 365m north to south by 210m east to west and is bounded by a bank, which in places is flanked by the remains of an outer ditch. The enclosing bank is clearly visible as an earthwork on the eastern side of the monument and at the north western corner where it stands up to 1m high. Parts of the western side are visible as slight earthworks and it is thought that the buried remains of the bank also survive on this side. The moated site is situated at the southern end of the monument and is visible as the fragmentary remains of a strongly defended rectangular ditched enclosure with double defences on its eastern side. The ditch is most pronounced at the north west and south west angles where it is 20m wide and up to 2m deep. Elsewhere, the moat has become infilled but it survives above ground as a slight earthwork and below ground level as a buried feature. The island of the moat is occupied by a group of late 18th or 19th century buildings but one medieval building survives on the island. This building known as the Old Hall is thought to be the remains of a service wing which was attached to the original medieval manor house of which there are no surface remains. The size and nature of the stonework of the service wing suggest that the manor house itself was a large complex. Indeed, a document of 1570 which is thought to refer to the Manor House lists the Hall, the Parlour above the Hall, the Chamber over the Hall, the New Chamber, The Little Chamber, the Loft beneath the Doors, the Buttery, the Kitchen and the Stable. The northern part of the monument is divided into a series of small rectangular enclosures, orientated east to west, by parallel linear banks standing 0.6m high and ditches 0.3m deep. At the extreme northern end of the monument there is a large raised triangular platform up to 2m high bounded by a ditch on its south side. This is thought to be the site of a chapel referred to in a document of 1414 in which Robert Fisher, John Nicholson and John Deves were granted licence for divine service to celebrated in a chapel at Archdeacon Newton. Immediately west of the western side of the settlement enclosure wall there is a section of medieval rig and furrow cultivation. This cultivation is part of the once extensive field system which surrounded the medieval settlement. The exact relationship between the cultivation and the enclosure wall is uncertain but the rig and furrow appears to be later in date. (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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