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Tyne and Wear HER(1537): Newcastle town wall, Morden Tower - Details

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Morden Tower, Newcastle upon Tyne



Newcastle town wall, Morden Tower




Town Defences

Town Wall



Extant Building

Semi-circular in plan, with a rectangular ground floor, the room lit by 3 loops (as at Heber and Durham Towers). Probably built before the curtain. It displays the other usual features, e.g. vault and ground floor door, but the side stairs to the wall walk were destroyed in one of the post-medieval alterations. In 1619-20 the tower was leased by the Company of Plumbers, Glaziers and Pewterers, who converted it into their meeting house, and made further alterations in 1700. The upper storey, redesigned ground floor door and external stair carved out of the curtain presumably date from one of these times. The front (west) face of the upper room is semi-circular, and built of ashlar above a moulded string course; the back is of brick. It is believed that the stone is early 17th century, and the brick late 17th century. The tower has had various post-medieval uses. The roof and upper room have recently been repaired. The Tower was recorded and excavted in 2012-2013 by NCAS due to a rodent infestation in the building. Soft deposits were removed within the footprint of the tower. A medieval garderobe was revealed on the north side of the tower which had been blocked in the 19th century. Sandstone slabs resembling a truncated wall foundation was revealed encased in the tower foundations. This may represent an earlier feature, possibly a wall defining the northern boundary of the Warden's Close, part of the Black Friars precinct. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT AND LISTED GRADE 1




<< HER 1537 >> J. Brand, 1789, History of Newcastle, I, 12 E. Mackenzie, 1827, View of Newcastle, 110 S. Holmes, 1896, The Town Walls of Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeologia Aeliana, 2, XVIII, 14-15 P. Brewis, 1934, The West Walls of Newcastle upon Tyne, between Durham and Ever Towers, Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, XI, 15-16, pls. vi.8, xi R. Fraser in J. Nolan, 1989, The Medieval Town Defences of Newcastle upon Tyne... Archaeologia Aeliana, 5, XVII, 53-4, pl. iii; Grace McCombie, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead - Pevsner Architectural Guide, p 175; Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2014, Morden Tower, West Walls, Newcastle upon Tyne, Excavation and Recording

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