The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Summerhouse Moat

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Castle Garth

In the civil parish of Summerhouse.
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: NZ20181889
Latitude 54.56484° Longitude -1.68941°

Summerhouse Moat has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The site at Summerhouse survives well and features such as the tower suggest it formerly supported a building of some importance. Additionally, its dominant position at one end of the village green indicates that it had an important role in the life of the medieval village. The monument includes a medieval moated site and its related drainage channels, a rectangular enclosure and part of an adjacent field system. The monument is situated on level ground immediately adjacent to Summerhouse Beck and at the southern end of a long village green, now encroached upon by other buildings. The moated site is rectangular in shape and measures 15m east-west by 20m north-south within a ditch 10m wide and up to 1m deep. At the south- western corner of the enclosed island there are the remains of a circular structure measuring 12m in diameter interpreted as the remains of a tower. The site has the appearance of a defended manor house situated at one end of the village green. Adjoining the moated site at its south-eastern corner is a series of ditches, drainage channels with well defined banks to the outside. The ditches are 10m wide and the banks survive to a height of 1.5m above the bottom of the ditches. These channels are placed roughly at right angles to each other and represent a form of water regulation associated with the moated site. Immediately to the south of the moated site is a rectangular enclosure, the remains of a substantial building measuring 23m by 10m within a slight bank 2m across. The remains of at least two other enclosures, of agricultural function, lie to the west of the moated site. At the southern end of the site part of the rig and furrow cultivation of the associated medieval field system is preserved, apparently bounded by the banks and ditches of the drainage system. (Scheduling Report)

Obscure traces of extensive foundations remain in a field on the south side of the village, which are locally called "The Castle Garth." (Surtees conjectures the name of the township to have been originally applied to a summer residence of the early lords of Raby.) At the feast of St. Cuthbert, in September, 1207, William, son of Robert Beneit, gave to the monastery of Durham certain lands in Summerhouse; and by another charter, he added six oxgangs which William Mastel held. These lands were afterwards granted by the prior and monks to the Nevilles. After the attainder, the estate was sold, and became the property of the Sandfords of Hewgill Castle, Westmoreland, and subsequently passed by marriage to Philip and Filmer Honeywood, of Markshall, Essex, from whom it was purchased, in 1786. (Fordyce)

Given the nearby location of Raby Castle (8km west) seems unlikely as a Neville residence. Ancillary accommodation? Hunting lodge? Bailiffs house in a demonstrative style?
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact