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WARDLEY MANOR HOUSE

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The moated medieval manor of Wardley, situated to the north of South Wardley Farm. To the north of the farm the visible remains include an enclosure defined by a bank and moat, and ridge and furrow. There are also visible remains to the north of the Bowes Railway which include a section of the moat. The remainder of the monument survives beneath the Bowes Railway trackbed and by a vehicle dismantling compound incorporating old coal waste tips. The earthworks north of the farm are of at least two phases. The first phase is associated with the medieval enclosure and the second later phase features relate to the site for dumping refuse. The moat, in the west corner of the field north of the farm, has an internal and external bank 0.5 metres high. The external bank can be seen on the south and east sides of the enclosure. The internal bank can be seen on its south side. On the east side and in parts of the south side of the enclosure accumulated 19th century refuse stands 1 metre higher than the surrounding surface and infills the moat area. To the north of the field the monument is overlain by the railway and vehicle dismantling compound. A watching brief of foundation trenches in 1995 recorded medieval deposits at 20cm depth from the surface of the vehicle dismantling compound. The first reference to the manor of Wardley was in 1264 when Prior Hugh de Derlington erected a camera, hall and chapel, which was destroyed by the Scots. In 1313 it was assigned to William de Tanfield. Medieval accounts note a kitchen, dovecote, bovaria, byre, stable, henhouse, herringhouse, farnia and bridge.

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