Langley Old Hall

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLangley Old Hall
Alternative NamesLanchester
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishBurnhope

Langley Hall built early 16th century, but now a ruin, originally occupied three sides of a quadrangle surrounded by a moat (Boyle: Pevsner). The remains consist of two buildings that represent the north east and south west sides of the quadrangle referred to in authorities 2 and 3. The walls have a maximum height of circa 8.0m, varying from 1.0m to 1.5m thick. Vague traces of foundations at the west end of the north east range connecting to the south west range possibly represent the north west range of the original quadrangle. The still intact north west arm of the moat has an average width of 10.0m and is 2.0m deep, partly waterfilled. The north east arm has an average width of 20.0m and depth of 4.0m. On this side there is also an inner bank with a maximum height of 2.0m. A very vague depression on the south west side probably represents the site of the moat on this side. There is no trace of the south east arm. The building remains are in poor condition and the area badly overgrown (F1 EG 31-AUG-54).

The remains, centred at NZ 2107 4662, were surveyed at 1:500 by RCHME in 1983. The ruins of Langley Hall, built by Henry, Lord Scrope, before 1533, are enclosed within the remains of a moat, occupying the east end of a natural terrace at about 160m OD. The OS 25" map of 1859 shows in outline four wings of the house enclosing a central courtyard, but the surviving ruins stand to a maximum height of about 8.8m. Short stretches of wall projecting from each of these wings testify to the existence of NW and SE ranges, but little remains of the former apart from dense rubble and some wall facing, and nothing can be seen of the latter. The upstanding fabric is in a precarious state, and extensive robbing has taken place. The whole is overgrown with trees and scrub. Due to the sloping nature of the site, the outer scarp of the moat in the NE has been cut to a depth of 5.6m, whereas in the SW it is merely 0.2m deep, though it is silted or deliberately filled here

It is in good condition in the NW and most of the NE, but poor in the SW, and little remains of the SE side. The E angle is destroyed by a modern track serving a later Langley Hall, 350m to the N, now destroyed in open-cast coal workings. Some 20m outside the W corner of the moat is a broad trench, 30m by 8m, of unknown purpose (Keith Blood and Humphery Welfare). (PastScape)

Langley Hall, a fortified manor house. Langley was in the hands of the Scrope family from the 14th century until the extinction of the direct line of the family with the death of Emanuel Lord Scrope in 1630; it is generally thought that the Hall was built by Henry Lord Scrope, d1533; Hutchinson records his name in an inscription over the hall fireplace. In the 17th century it passed to the family of the Marquis of Winchester and then in the 18th to the Lambtons, by which time the buildings had fallen into ruin, and were being used as a farm. The remains have continued to deteriorate throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, considerable sections of wall having fallen within the last 40 or 50 years. Part of the hall was turned into a farmhouse which was still in use in 1835. The ruins comprise the remains of two ranges of buildings set on the opposite sides of a courtyard c23m across. Whilst the site is aligned almost exactly north-east to south-west, in the following description this is modified to east-west, taking the south-east side (from which the house has clearly been approached) as south. Thus the standing remains are almost entirely of the west and east ranges; there has clearly been a north range and probably also one on the south, although its exact position is no longer clear. The ruins stand within a roughly rectangular moated enclosure, the longer axis of which lies east-west. There may have been a further enclosure or court between the buildings and the moat on the east. The moat is best preserved on the north, and still holds water around the north-west corner. The south-east angle of the enclosure is cut across by a track that forms the boundary of the present woodland. Today the ruins of two large stone buildings can be seen, as well as traces of a third. The carved windows and doorways appear to be 16th century in style. (Keys to the Past)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ210466
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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.

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  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 18 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 18 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 17 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 26 online copy
  • Keith Blood and Humphery Welfare, 1983 Nov., Durham Magnesian Limestone Survey (RCHME)