Redworth (County Durham)
The village of Redworth was first recorded in 1138. Its name comes from the Old English for 'farm enclosure where the reeds grow'. Central to the village is Redworth hall, a 17th century house which remained in the Surtees family until the 20th century when it was converted into a hotel.
However, Redworth Hall is not the earliest surviving evidence for past times in the village. A stone hammer of probable Neolithic or Bronze Age date has been found. This may have been used to clear trees in order that the first fields could be ploughed. Another similar hammer was found in the grounds of the Redworth Hall in 1899. Although we have these simple stone objects, the earliest settlements of the people who would have used them have not survived. However, we do have the possible remains of a Iron Age settlements. A local farmer noticed the cropmarks of three potential hut circles- all that remained of simple round houses.
Despite these early remains, we know very little else about the village until the medieval period. The village of Redworth itself is probably of medieval origin, though it is likely that there may have been a settlement here during the Anglo-Saxon period. Redworth Hall was built in the 17th century, though it is possible that it was on the site of an earlier, medieval manor house. It is now a luxury hotel.
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