Seaton Holme, Easington

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are major building remains

NameSeaton Holme, Easington
Alternative Names
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishEasington Village

In 1248, Seaton Holme, built for the retirement of Prince Bishop Farnham, was to become a major landmark for the governing dynasty, acting as the administrative centre for the area. The earliest phase in the development of Seaton Holme for which there is evidence above ground is an aisled hall with adjoining wing to the east, both of stone rubble. All the indications are that this was part of a mid C13 building phase, this date is suggested by documentary sources and confirmed by dendrochronology. The east wing was at least partly rebuilt in the late C13-early C14. The wing housed services on the ground floor and provided a great chamber on the first. The hall range was rebuilt with a considerably taller open hall in the second half of C15. The two wings were later re-roofed, and the west wing raised in height by almost one metre. Dendrochronological analysis has dated the re-roofing of the west wing to the early C16. The trusses of the east wing have timbers dating to both the late C15 and late C16, suggesting that the wing may have been re-roofed at the same time that the hall range was rebuilt, but was then at least partially rebuilt a century later. In the late C18 and early C19 the building was extensively renovated, in the course of which the interior was remodelled and the west wing virtually rebuilt. (Emery)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ413435
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  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 175
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 51-4, 85-7


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via EThOS)