Gate Castle, Stanhope

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry footings remains

NameGate Castle, Stanhope
Alternative NamesGaitte; Gates
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishStanhope

Said by Egglestone to be the southern gate of the deer park of the Bishops of Durham and to have been once owned by Emerson the mathematician. It is, however, a mile inside the south wall of the Deer Park with which it probably has some connection. It is quite unrelated to existing field walls. No sign of the east and west walls in 1945 (Hildyard). The remains of the Gate Castle form a rectangle measuring 17m E to W by 7m N to S. The N, E and W walls of coursed rubble masonry stand to a maximum height of 1.4m and are spread to a width of 2.0m. The S wall is visible as a grass covered bank 1.0m wide by 0.2m high. No entrance is visible (F1 DS 01-JUL-57). Abutting the remains above described, are the foundations of a possible wing projecting to the south. This area measures 9 x 5 metres, and makes the building L-shaped on plan (F2 JLD 02-JUL-57). The remains of this probable gate tower have been completely removed. All that remains are a few flat stones protruding through the now level turf (F3 ISS 09-SEP-74). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The suspicious must be this 'tenement' was a park lodge built with some entirely symbolic crenellations rather than anything that was ever intended to fortified. However, Weardale is fairly remote and some domestic defenses, of the sort seen in late pele towers and bastles, may have existed.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY941379
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles and Tower Houses of County Durham (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 33
  • Jackson, M.J., 1996, Castles of Durham and Cleveland (Carlisle) p. 64
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 139 (possible)
  • Hildyard, E.J.W., 1957, Archaeology of Weardale: summaries of research 1945-47 (revised and amplified 1957) and summary of research 1953-54
  • Lee, J., 1950, Weardale Memories and Traditions p. 93
  • Gould, Chalkley, 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Durham Vol. 1 (London) p. 362 online copy
  • Boyle, J.R., 1892, Comprehensive Guide to the County of Durham: its Castles, Churches, and Manor-Houses p. 521


  • Egglestone, W.M., 1900-4, 'Westgate castle in Weardale' Transactions of the Weardale Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 1 p. 102

Primary Sources

  • Welford, R. (ed), 1905, Records of the Committees for Compounding, etc., with delinquent royalists in Durham and Northumberland, 1643-60 (Surtees Society 111) p. 186 online copy