Marmion Tower

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Marmion Tower

North Riding

Marmion Tower - - 220715.jpg
Marmion Tower
Type: Gatehouse
Grid reference: SE266787
Location: 54°12’13"N, 1°35’28"W
Village: West Tanfield
Owned by: English Heritage
Website: Marmion Tower

Marmion Tower is a 15th-century gatehouse near to the village of West Tanfield in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

The tower is under the care of English Heritage.


It was the entrance to and formerly adjoined to a now vanished manor house by the River Ure, owned by the Marmion family from which the gatehouse gets its name. John Marmion (a great grandson of King John) was originally given licence to crenellate his mansion called "The Hermitage'" (but thought to have later become known as "Tanfield Castle") in his wood at Tanfield on 24 September 1314.[1] His son's widow Maud was again given license to crenellate it in 1348 but there are doubts as to whether it ever became anything larger than a fortified manor house.

The entry in Domesday Book records that the manor at West Tanfield was held in 1086 by Count Alan of Richmond Castle.

The Marmion family owned the manor for much of the 13th and 14th centuries, but the gatehouse dates from the 15th century. It was probably built by their descendant William Fitz Hugh, who died in 1452.[2]

The tower has three levels and is built in stone. The gateway is barrel vaulted and has a guardroom to the south. The stair leads to the rooms above and ends in a turret above the battlements. It is noted for its well preserved oriel window on the first floor and other features include the garderobe (latrine) and a porter's "squint".

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Marmion Tower)


  1. Patent Rolls 1314.
  2. Marmion Tower: History and research - History and Research, English Heritage