Gainford Tower

Has been described as a Possible Tower House

There are no visible remains

NameGainford Tower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishGainford

Bishop Beck (1283-1310) built a tower at Gainford. It may have been the same building as Gainford Hall. (Keys to the Past)

"Bishop Bek (1283-1310) erected a tower at Gainford (NZ 1716), but all traces of this have disappeared, not even its site being known". (PastScape ref PSA, 1907)

In Grey's Notes it is remarked that Gainford castle was built by Bishop Beck; but there are no remains, or even tradition of a castle here, though it is probable there was some fortress, where the powers and privileges of the honour were maintained. (Mackenzie and Ross - direct from Hutchinson)

Gainford Hall stands at the west end of the village; it is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient manor house (Whellan)

Gatehouse Comments

Bishop Bek was a great builder so a tower house may have been built. Unfortunately the antiquarian historians don't give a confirmable primary source. The tenurial history of Gainforth is suggestive of a significant manor. It is said to have been siezed by Edward I from Bishop Bek and given to Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick as part of the honour of Castle Barnard.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ168168
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Whellan, Wm., 1856, History, Topography and Directory of the County of Durham p. 445 online copy
  • Mackenzie, E. and Ross, M., 1834, An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive View of the County Palatine of Durham Vol. 2 p. 183 online copy
  • Hutchinson, Wm, 1823, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham Vol. 3 p. 266 online copy Vol. 1 p. 309 [online copy >]


  • 1907, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne (ser3) Vol. 1 p. 342