It was the entrance to and formerly adjoined to a now vanished manor house by the River Ure, owned by the Marmion family from which the gatehouse gets its name. It is thought that is that the manor house was called Tanfield Castle, a fortified manor, but are no remains of the castle itself, for which license to crenellate was granted in 1348, and there are some doubts that the 'castle' was ever built. The entry in Domesday Book records that the manor at West Tanfield was held in 1086 by Count Alan of Richmond Castle.
The Marmion family owned the manor for much of the 13th and 14th centuries, but the gatehouse dates from the 15th century. It was probably built by William Fitz Hugh, who died in 1452.
The tower has three levels and is built in stone. The gateway is barrel vaulted and has a guardroom to the south. The stair leads to the rooms above and ends in a turret above the battlements. It is noted for its well preserved oriel window on the first floor and other features include the garderobe (latrine) and a porter's "squint".
The tower is now under the care of English Heritage.
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- Marmion Tower, English Heritage
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