Mainsforth Hall (demolished)


Mainsforth Hall was demolished in 1962. The oldest part of the hall dated from the 17th century. It had been the ancestral home of the Surtees family. Today the entrance gate piers and walls of the grounds can still be seen.

From Bishop Middleham a road runs west for three-quarters of a mile to the little village of Mainsforth. Mainsforth Hall, the seat of the Surtees family, is at its west end. Here Robert Surtees spent the years between 1802 and 1834 on his History of Durham, to which all later accounts of the county are so much indebted. Robert Surtees was a brilliant conversationalist, and at Mainsforth Hall he collected round him the members of that famous school of northern antiquaries which he himself had founded and which, after his death, established in his memory the society which bears his name. He was a friend and correspondent of Sir Walter Scott.

The older portions of Mainsforth Hall probably date from the time of Ralph Hutton, about 1625, but the house was almost entirely rebuilt shortly after 1720 by Edward Surtees, who added a large square block of three stories at the south-east end. Internal alterations were afterwards made, chiefly by Robert Surtees in 1772, and quite recently by Gen. H. Conyers Surtees, the present owner. The entrance gate-piers were brought from Embleton Hall, and some heraldic glass in the house shows amongst others the arms of Claxton and a coat with three scythe blades (for Kempley) brought from an old house at Chilton, and some more modern glass from Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, about the middle of the 18th century. Over the main entrance to the garden is a shield of arms, formerly in Robert Surtees' (d. 1617) house in Durham market place.To the west of it is Narbal Hill, a curious sand-hill with a hollow summit. The name is more correctly Nab Hill. A Wesleyan chapel was built at Mainsforth in 1913.

Extract from: A History of the County of Durham, William Page, 1928.

from Geograph (geograph)
Wall at Mainsforth

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Wall at Mainsforth

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from http://www.lostheritage.org...
MAINSFORTH HALL
- Includes photo.

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from https://historicengland.org...
GATE PIERS AND GATES AT MAINSFORTH HALL NORTH ENTRANCE - List Entry
- "Gate piers and gates. Mid C19 in style of C18. Sandstone ashlar piers; wrought iron gates. Rusticated square piers with plinths and cornices have collars and stepped copings with large ...

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from https://historicengland.org...
MAINSFORTH HALL SOUTH ENTRANCE GATE PIERS AND GATES ON EAST BOUNDARY - List Entry
- "Gate piers and gates, formerly entrance to Mainsforth Hall (now demolished). Piers probably early C18, restored C19; gates late C19/early C20. Sandstone ashlar piers, wrought iron gates...."

Added by
Simon Cotterill

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