Keys to the Past

Grey Tower, North Road, Durham (Durham City)

Grey Tower, North Rd, Durham City (2004) 2004
Grey Tower, North Rd, Durham City (2004) 2004

Grey Tower, North Road, Durham © Ryder, P 2006
Grey Tower, North Road, Durham © Ryder, P 2006

Grey Tower, North Road, Durham © Ryder, P 2006
Grey Tower, North Road, Durham © Ryder, P 2006

Tower house most likely built in the late 18th or early 19th century. The detail is of a simple Tudor/Gothic type, characteristic of many Durham buildings of the earlier 19th century/

It is possible it contains fabric of an older medieval building. Three stories in an L plan shape, the building may have been in origin a lodge house for the Dryburn estate.

North Road seems to be a creation of the 1830s or 1840s, and this house would seem to go with it, it would seem to be a little later. Whilst at first sight the cellar looks as if might survive from an older structure, this is probably not the case. It is an attractive building (might some architect such as Bonomi be responsible?)

The house has a steeply -terraced garden, with stone walls and many ex-situ architectural fragments; most have characteristic parallel tooling of the later 18th/early 19th century but a few seem genuinely medieval, suggesting that it was the residence of someone with antiquarian interests.

A reference in the North East England History Pages (www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk) describes the Grey Tower as reputedly a haunted house (occasionally a ghostly face is said to appear at the attic window) but the legend is thought to arise from the 1880s when the tower was the setting for a story called "The Waif of the Wear".

It is a Grade II Listed Building and is protected by law

Reference number:D1159
Historical period: Georgian (1714 to 1830)
21st Century (2001 to 2100)
Legal status:Listed Building
  • National Heritage List for England Entry Number: 1121395



See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Durham City


Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.