Tursdale Castle Hill

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House, and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameTursdale Castle Hill
Alternative NamesTrillesden; Standalone; Sedgebitlee; Quarrington
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishCassop Cum Quarrington

About 70 yards east of Standalone farmhouse and 20 chains north-east of Tursdale shafts, Steavenson found indications of building foundations below ploughed land. In 1907, he had it dug and found "big flat stones round a considerable area, forming portions of an oblong building of probably early date ...I should say it has been a pele..." The foundations were 50 yards square

Gatehouse Comments

Nothing now visible at this site, which has been extensively ploughed. However the quality of the stones found here in the past suggested a fortification to earlier writers and the possible moat reported may well be suggestive of a medieval defensible site. However the isolated site may well suggest a pele tower of a farmstead rather than a tower house of a knightly or lordly residence. However, PastScape quotes Surtees as writing 'Eustace De Bailliol, demorant a Querundon, is in a list of knights present at the Battle of Lewes 1264' Quarrington is two miles west of this site but before the construction of several mining and quarrying villages may have been the closest medieval settlement.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ304361
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Gould, Chalkley, 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Durham Vol. 1 (London) p. 350 (PastScape notes "quotes obvious wrong source" however the source seems correct although attaching the name Quarrington to the record has caused confusion) online copy
  • Murray, J., 1873, A Handbook for Travellers in Durham and Northumberland (London) p. 119 online copy
  • Fordyce, W., 1857, History and antiquities of the county palatine of Durham (Durham) Vol. 2 p. 380 online copy
  • Mackenzie, E. and Ross, M., 1834, An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive View of the County Palatine of Durham Vol. 1 p. 417 online copy
  • Surtees, R., 1816 (1910 Reprint), The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham Vol. 3 p. 162-3 online copy


  • Steavenson, A.L., 1908, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (ser3) Vol. 3 p. 189-90 online copy