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Castle Steads, Rowley Farm, Esh Winning

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castlesteads; Lanchester; Hamsteels; Rowley Gillet

In the civil parish of Cornsay.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Durham.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ17924276
Latitude 54.77944° Longitude -1.72290°

Castle Steads, Rowley Farm, Esh Winning has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Situated at about 152 m OD on a NE facing slope are the remains of a rectangular enclosure measuring about 190 m. NW/SE by 114 m. Transversely between the centres of a well formed ditch with inner and outer banks. The ditch, now mainly dry, (4 m maximum depth and 10 m average width) is of unusual construction as it is not a complete unit but is formed by four separate watertight arms. The breaks in the centre of the NW side and at the S end of the SE side are deliberate in order to form dams to retain the water. Water had drained along a natural channel to a low-lying depression at the NE corner which appears to have been utilized as a pond, strengthened by a retaining bank. The inner bank, where best preserved to the W of the entrance at (1.3 m maximum height spread to about 5 m) shows traces of walling. The outer bank of similar dimensions is predominantly earth. Although there is no ditch at there are traces of the outer bank continuing. The turf covered footings of a probably contemporary wall survive parallel to the outer bank to the SE of the entrance at. Outside the outer bank at the N end of the W side are traces of a possibly secondary bank. The entrance in the centre of the S wall at appears to have been the only one. The gently sloping, marsh, interior contains the remains of buildings, the main block at and others against the inner bank. They are now too ill-defined for accurate measurement but appear as turf-covered stony banks (1 m maximum height spread to about 3 m) with occasional facing stones. Attempts to excavate have left large robber trenches which confuse their outlines. To the N of both of these groups of buildings are the remains of contemporary wall footings. The whole area is now wooded and traces of ridge and furrow can be seen as delineated. The site is probably the remains of a fortified manor house with ancillary buildings inside a wall and protective ditch. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments F3 ISS 27-AUG-80)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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