Site of medieval manor house


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Site of medieval manor house
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This copy shows the entry on 31-Mar-2020 at 08:51:05.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Scarborough (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 01296 83427

Reasons for Designation

Manorial centres were important foci of medieval rural life. They served as prestigious aristocratic or seigneurial residences, the importance of their owners and inhabitants being reflected in the quality and elaboration of their buildings. Local agricultural and village life was normally closely regulated by the lord of the manor, and hence the inhabitants of these sites had a controlling interest in many aspects of medieval life. Manorial sites could take on many forms. Their buildings normally included a hall used as communal space for domestic and administrative purposes, private chambers, service and storage areas and kitchens (which were often housed in separate structures to reduce fire risk). The wider manorial complex may often have included stables, barns, stores, dovecots, fishponds, and enclosures for orchards and gardens. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat, the latter being intended to further enhance the status of the site. Other manors were not moated, their status being indicated largely by the qualities of their buildings or, like Seamer, their location in a prominent position. This latter group of manorial centres are the most difficult to identify today because the sites were not enclosed by major earthwork features, such as a moat, many of which survive well, and the buildings often exhibited a fairly unplanned layout which could extend over a large area. Continued use of sites has also in many instances led to the destruction of medieval remains. Hence examples of medieval manorial centres which can be positively identified and shown to have extensive surviving archaeological remains are relatively rare. The surviving ruins and substantial earthwork remains at Seamer manor are well preserved. There is little evidence of post-demolition disturbance, and archaeological deposits associated with the manorial centre will survive in good condition.


The monument includes the remains of the medieval manor at Manor Garth, Seamer situated on the edge of the village on a low bluff overlooking low marshy land. The remains consist of a section of upstanding medieval masonry which was originally part of the manor house and further substantial earthwork remains of both the manor house and associated manorial complex which dates to the early 14th century.

The upstanding ruins, which date to the 15th century, comprise a section of masonry wall 12m long and up to 4m wide with an arched doorway through the south west end. It is built of coursed limestone rubble, with some ashlar facing and some traces of architectural detail.

Surrounding the ruins are substantial grass covered earthworks representing the buried remains of the manor house complex. The earthworks form terraces and banks, some of which are up to 1.5m high. Stonework from the manor is exposed at a number of places on the earthworks.

A track crosses through the area of the scheduling north of the site of the manor house and at its east end is carried by a raised causeway 8m wide and 1m high. North of the track is a wide terrace and further earthworks which represent the remains of the wider manorial complex.

The area to the south west of the monument is currently boggy land but in the medieval period was a more substantial lake or mere from which Seamer takes its name. The manor complex was thus situated on higher land overlooking the lake and as such occupied a prestigious position.

A manor existed at Seamer before the Conquest and was granted to the Percy family by William I. The Percys were known to have had a house at Seamer in 1304. It seems to have been used as a dower house; a house provided for a widow, often on the estate of the deceased husband. In 1536 Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland made over the manor to the crown and by 1547 it was called a castle. The manor was granted to Sir Henry Gate in 1555, passed to his son in 1589 and passed through several lessees and owners. It is not known when the manor house was abandoned and demolished. The upstanding ruins are Listed Grade II.

All fences and boundaries and the two brick sheds on the site are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Page, W , The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: North Riding: Volume I, (1914), 484-486


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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