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Eden Hall Tower, Peterlee

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Little Eden; Chapel Hill; Chappel Hill; Turris de Parva Eden

In the civil parish of Peterlee.
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: NZ43444120
Latitude 54.76387° Longitude -1.32641°

Eden Hall Tower, Peterlee has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such, and also as a probable Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.


The remains of a tower were demolished in the early 19th century although foundations still remain. The land is known as "Chapel Hill" , and there is a tradition of a chapel at the site, for which there appears to be no other evidence. Perhaps originally both tower and chapel stood adjacent one to the other, or possibly the place name refers to the tower itself? Only very slight traces of foundations were visible in 1954. (Keys to the Past)

The remains of an oblong square tower, the Turris de Parva Eden, were taken down by Rowland Burdon, Esq. in 180?. A field adjoining to the scite of the tower bears the name of Chappel Hill, where some traces of foundations are still visible. (Surtees)

Chapel Hill is now built over by part of the new town of Peterlee. The only foundations found consisted of a few metres of wall, running east to west to the west of Eden Hall. This wall corresponds to the south line of pecks of the small square signifying the site of the chapel on OS 6". No trace of the tower was found. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments F1 JHO 06-OCT-54)

Clark list "Eden Hall.–South of this is a moated mound?" presumably a reference to Chapel Hill, although there is nothing to suggest this is anything other than a natural hill and even Clark, who does not seem to have been a man afraid to jump to conclusions, seems to have had doubts. The tenurial history given by Surtees is entirely consistent with a tower house and manorial complex here. The status of Durham as a palatinate, with its own records which are not as complete as the Royal records, means a chapel as part of this complex is not improbable. It should be noted that the visible foundations mentioned by Surtees (presumably the same as that mentioned by the field investigator in 1954) were of a supposed chapel not the tower which lay 'nearby'. It may well be that Eden Hall, marked on the 1st edn OS map, was built by Rowland Burdon, on the site of the tower.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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