Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

Alternative Names
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishDurham

Houghall manor-house, once a strong place with fortifications. Traces of the moat remain in part. (VCH)

Houghall Farm, stands on the west side of the broad flood plain of the Wear, 2 km to the south of Durham City, and can only be approached by 1.5 km of minor road from the A177. In the medieval period it lay on one of the main roads into Durham; today, despite a cluster of modern buildings nearby, it still has an air of remoteness shared by the rather similar site of Low Butterty on the other side of the river. Houghall was granted to the Herrington family in the 12th century and then in1260 to the Prior and Convent of Durham; during the term of office of Prior Hoton (1290-1308) a manor house is said to have been built here; a new house costing £12 1s 4d was built by Prior Fossor in 1373. The Bursar of the Priory held Houghall, and his account rolls (from 1300 until the 1530s) mention the Aula (hall). Grangia (barn), Granarium (granary), Bovaria (cow shed), Stabulum (stable) and Ustrina (lime-kiln); in the 15th century the farm was leased out; after the Dissolution the land transferred to the Dean and Chapter and continued to be tenanted Sir Arthur Hazelrigg, the Parliamentarian, made Houghall his home in the 1640s. In the 20th century the farm was acquired by Durham County Council, and became a College of Agriculture. The old farmhouse, largely of 17th century date, was pulled down in 1962. The surviving old buildings are now in good condition, and form part of the East Durham and Houghall Community College Small Animal Care Unit. (Durham HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The now almost entirely lost moat was quite broad but the evidence for the fortifications mentioned by Gould seems slight. However, this was a house of the wealthy Prior of Durham, in a county where martial architecture had particular kudos.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ278402
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  • Page, Wm (ed), 1928, VCH Durham Vol. 3 p. 156 online transcription
  • Gould, Chalkley, 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Durham Vol. 1 (London) p. 356 online copy
  • Surtees, R., 1816, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham Vol. 4 p. 94