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Bearpark, West View

The Prior of Durham's favourite country retreat was a luxurious manor house west of the city. Known as Beaurepaire, its Latin name meant 'beautiful resting place'. In time, the name became corrupted to Bearpark and was transferred to a nearby colliery and pit village. The ruins of the manor house are set on a knoll overlooking the Browney Valley. On the right is the ruined hall with the projecting south-west range that contained the prior's solar, or withdrawing room. This wing of the building still retained part of its roof when Grimm drew this west view. Today, only the lower part of the gable remains. However, there is interesting evidence of its sanitary arrangements: when restored in the late-13th century, the range was provided with the luxury of a flushed latrine to replace the earlier, typically medieval, cess pit.

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