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Parson's Tower

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Parson's Tower

List entry Number: 1018372

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Ford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 20-May-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31705

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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. At many sites the tower comprised only one element of a larger house, with at least one wing being attached to it. These wings provided further domestic accommodation, frequently including a large hall. If it was incorporated within a larger domestic residence, the tower itself could retain its defensible qualities and could be shut off from the rest of the house in times of trouble. 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 or 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 over half were elements of larger houses. All surviving tower houses retaining significant medieval remains will normally be identified as nationally important.

Parson's Tower survives in good condition and retains significant medieval remains.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

This monument includes the ruined medieval tower house, known as Parson's Tower, situated south west of Ford Castle. It was the home of the local parson and as such was always separate from the nearby castle. The remains comprise the basement stage of a tower built of coursed, squared, sandstone blocks, with chamfered set-back or plinth visible on three sides. The tower is almost square in plan, measuring 10.1m by 10.5m externally, stands about 3.65m high and has walls about 2m thick enclosing a single chamber. The entrance lies in the east wall and gives access to a lobby, with an inner and outer doorway, and to a mural stair (steps built within the thickness of the wall). Internally, the basement is covered by an east-west barrel vault and many stones bear masons' marks. The remains of two small openings, or loops, are visible in the north and south walls, that on the north concealed internally by later thickening of the wall. Various sockets and rooflines can be traced in the stonework externally and are associated with later buildings attached to the tower. These no longer survive. The tower is a Grade II Listed Building. Documents first record a tower at Ford in 1541 and describe its partial destruction by the Scots before Flodden (1513). It was associated with the parsonage and was rebuilt by Sir Cuthbert Ogle, mentioned as rector of Ford in 1516. During the next 300 years the tower is reported as having been totally demolished in 1663, rebuilt in 1725 and enlarged in 1825.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Ryder, P F, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland: A Survey, (1995), 16-17

National Grid Reference: NT 94386 37423

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018372 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 03:08:45.

End of official listing