The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Ludworth Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Shadforth.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Durham.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ35584130
Latitude 54.76524° Longitude -1.44851°

Ludworth Tower has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Ruins of tower house. Early C15. (1422 licence to crenellate to Thomas Holden). Thin courses of ochre-coloured limestone, and some magnesian limestone, with sandstone quoins. West elevation: 2 fragments of only surviving wall, to height of 3 storeys with central gap, have 2 roughly- rectangular first-floor window openings, and one on second floor, with dressings removed. East elevation shows rough stone voussoirs over deeply- splayed jambs of these openings; fragments of first-floor fire hood at side of gap, with apparent nook shaft. Fragment of stone spiral stair at north. Remains of barrel-vaulted ground-floor chamber. Fragments formerly identified to south of road now covered over or dispersed. (Listed Building Report)

In 1411 the manor of Ludworth passed into the hands of the Holden family who built the tower and in 1422 license was granted to crenellate the manor. Most of the tower fell in 1890 and all that is left is the tunnel-vaulted basement, the W wall and a fragment of the S wall (Boyle) enclosed by the remains of a small rectangular bank and ditch (VCH, 1905). A fragment of curtain wall remains towards the E. (Surtees). S of the road are the walls of several rooms (Pevsner, 1953). The extent of the remains of the tower and accompanying buildings ... consist only of the W wall 11.2m long, 1.5 m wide and circa 10 m high, with the remains of a newel staircase and several windows, part of the N wall and the barrel vaulted basement, 6.7 m long and 1.8 m high, with a later wall below it. Around the tower are various banks covering fallen walls and foundations but the bank and ditch mentioned by Authority 3 are no longer visible. At NZ 3566 4126 are the roofless buildings referred to by Pevsner, measuring 42.2 m in length, 13.3 m in width and circa 4 m high. Their purpose and date are not known, but they are possibly co-eval with the tower (JHOstridge/22-SEP-1954/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator). (PastScape)

A Durham Palatinate licence to crenellate was granted in 1422 Aug 6 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact