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MARMION TOWER

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  TANSFIELD CASTLE
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Marmion Tower is the 15th century gatehouse of the now otherwise demolished Tansfield Castle, a fortified manor house. The tower is named after the Marmion family that owned the manor. A licence to crenellate (in other words a licence or the freedom to build- or convert a residence into a castle) here was given in 1348, for Matilda (or Maud), the widow of John Marmion but it is possible that there was never a large "castle" in the conventional sense, only the fortified manor house. This licence may have been a repeat of an earlier licence issued to John Marmion in 1314. The precise plan of the manor house has not yet been identified. The gatehouse tower itself may have been built by William Fitz Hugh, who died in 1452. The tower is a three storey stone building, roughly square in plan, with a projection at the north-west corner containing a newel stair. The gateway is barrel vaulted and has a guardroom to the south. The stair leads to the rooms above and ends in a turret above the battlements. The tower features a fine oriel window to the first floor, and other details of interest include the garderobe (latrine) and a porter's "squint". The site is now in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.