Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Rejected Masonry Castle

There are uncertain remains

Alternative Names
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthoritySunderland
1974 AuthorityTyne and Wear
Civil ParishSunderland

Clark lists in Durham 'Tunstal.–Strong earthwork and a shell keep. Qy. mound."

Gatehouse Comments

Tunstall is a place-name in Wolsingham parish was also a township in Silksworth ecclesiastical parish, formed out of Bishop Wearmouth parish, on the outskirts of Sunderland (NZ391534). The later site has been extensively mined and quarried but has within it several limestone hills two of which, the Maiden's Paps, are notably sea marks. There is nothing in the archaeological records near either site which even vaguely fits Clark's description, which is probably derived from a correspondent rather than from his own direct observation. However Maiden Paps could be mistaken for a motte by someone not really understanding what Clarke meant although there is nothing which really could be called a 'shell keep' unless a particularly ill informed person though the exposed nature limestone crag of Rocky Hill, the southern most of the two hills, constituted such a thing or if there was some post medieval building (built as a sea mark) on either of the hills which has now been entirely lost (There has been quarrying on the hills). Given map reference for Rocky Hill.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ391534
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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.

Calculate Print


  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 203 online copy