Ancient Monuments

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Earthwork at Crawley Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Hedgeley, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4428 / 55°26'34"N

Longitude: -1.8931 / 1°53'35"W

OS Eastings: 406862.709975

OS Northings: 616557.366795

OS Grid: NU068165

Mapcode National: GBR H56H.YQ

Mapcode Global: WHB04.WGQ9

Entry Name: Earthwork at Crawley Tower

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1935

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006599

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 64

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hedgeley

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Eglingham St Maurice

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


Earthworks immediately north of Crawley Tower.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 May 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes the remains of the medieval earthwork outer bailey of Crawley Tower, situated near the summit of a hill and overlooked by slightly higher ground to the north east. Approximately half of the earthwork’s original circumference is visible as an upstanding bank with an inner ditch, formed by scarping the natural slope, with the spoil being used to form an outer bank The ditch is on average 13m wide and a maximum of 2.5m deep and the bank is on average 7m wide and a maximum height of 2m. Crawley Tower, which are not included in the monument, lies immediately to the south was built early in the 14th century with a licence to crenelate being granted in 1343.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Tower houses are a type of defensible house particularly characteristic of the borderlands of England and Scotland. Virtually every parish had at least one of these buildings. Solitary tower houses comprise a single square or rectangular `keep' several storeys high, with strong barrel-vaults tying together massive outer walls. Many towers had stone slab roofs, often with a parapet walk. Access could be gained through a ground floor entrance or at first floor level where a doorway would lead directly to a first floor hall. Solitary towers were normally accompanied by a small outer enclosure defined by a timber or stone wall and called a barmkin. Tower houses were being constructed and used from at least the 13th century to the end of the 16th century. They provided prestigious defended houses permanently occupied by the wealthier and aristocratic members of society. As such, they were important centres of medieval life. The need for such secure buildings relates to the unsettled and frequently war-like conditions which prevailed in the Borders throughout much of the medieval period. Around 200 examples of tower houses have been identified of which less than half are of the free- standing or solitary tower type. All surviving solitary towers and barmkins retaining significant medieval remains will normally be identified as nationally important.

The earthworks immediately north of Crawley Tower survive well and retain significant archaeological deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the tower house.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 4885 (earthworks), 4875 (tower)

Source: Historic England

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