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Latitude: 54.5231 / 54°31'23"N
Longitude: -1.8685 / 1°52'6"W
OS Eastings: 408610
OS Northings: 514209
OS Grid: NZ086142
Mapcode National: GBR HJD4.8C
Mapcode Global: WHC5R.8KHW
Entry Name: Mortham Tower
Listing Date: 19 January 1952
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1160832
English Heritage Legacy ID: 111727
Location: Rokeby, County Durham, DL12
County: County Durham
Civil Parish: Rokeby
Traditional County: Yorkshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham
NZ 0814 ROKEBY MORTHAM
13/137 Mortham Tower
Fortified Manor House. Hall, solar, north-west wing and perhaps south-east
range probably C14 in origin; Tower later C15; south-west range, courtyard
wall and gateway probably early C16; solar remodelled as Great Chamber in
later C16; Hall altered to barn c.1820; 1939 restoration by David Hodges and
Kenneth Peacock for Mrs Rhodes-Moorhouse.
Solar and north-west wing rubble; Hall rubble to north and ashlar to south;
Tower ashlar except for roughly-squared stone on lower parts of north and
east elevations; courtyard wall and gateway large roughly-squared stone;
south-east range large squared stone on west and rubble on east; south-west
range rubble; cut dressings. Graduatedstone slate roofs except for C20 flat
roof on Tower.
Plan: Ranges around courtyard, closed on south by wall with central gateway.
Hall on north and Tower inserted at north-west corner between Hall and Great
Chamber on north, north-west wing beyond. Most windows square-headed, with
or without mullions and hoodmoulds; chamfered and hollow-chamfered surrounds.
Hall/Great Chamber range: Both north and south elevations show central early
C19 round-headed arches, remains of blocked mullioned windows and barn slit
vents. Great Chamber has lateral stack at north. East gable end rebuilt
early C19, with 1939 mullioned windows. West gable shows later C16 2-storey
canted bay. North-west wing has projecting east bay with restored 3-light
1st floor window; remains of original end stack at north end.
Square Tower with north-east stair turret partly within adjacent range. Lower
floors have restored 2-light windows; 2nd floor has 1- and 2-light windows
with cinquefoil-headed lights. Tall parapet, with angle bartizans above
string course; upper parapet, above second string, has large square-headed
openings and embattled cresting to bartizans. Some chamfered loops.
South-east range to courtyard 2 storeys, 4 irregular bays; left bay is later
addition. Windows mostly mullioned, some restored. Hip-ended roof. South
end shows fine sundial dated 1566.
South-west range to courtyard 2 storeys, 3 irregular bays. Similar windows.
South end 4-light transomed window with hoodmould stepped up over central
panel with shield. To rear 2 stepped buttresses and lateral stack.
Courtyard wall: Projecting central gateway has double-chamfered 4-centred
arch with hollow-chamfered hoodmould, between later raking buttresses
incorporating several C12 and C13 grave covers; west projecting turret;
embattled parapets. Flight of internal stone steps up each end serves wall
walk and 1st floor doorways in the adjacent ranges; eastern stair has old
slab with Rokeby arms and intials.
Interior: Hall retains two C14 roof trusses with long moulded arch braces
to collars carrying upper king posts; cusping at heads of principals and
posts; later tie beams. 1st floor Great Chamber has richly-moulded C16
ceiling beams and joists, and contemporary Tudor-arched fireplace; room in
north-west wing has similar fireplace with carved lintel, and C16 ornamental
plasterwork over bay window. In Tower other old fireplaces, doorways,
garderobes and windows with stone seats; at wall head are corbels formerly
carrying fighting platform serving upper-level embrasures. South-west range
has C16 roof.
Historical Note: Built by Rokeby family on a new site following destruction
of previous house by raiding Scots after Bannockburn; declined to farm use
in C18 and C19.
C. Hussey, 'Mortham Tower, Yorkshire', Country Life, July 6 1945, 24-7.
Listing NGR: NZ0861014209
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