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South View of Bearpark, near Durham 1783

South View of Bearpark, near Durham 1783

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1783

Shelfmark: KTOP XII

Item number: 44a

Length: 17

Width: 30

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

This south view of the ruins of Beaurepaire or Bearpark, in the parish of Witton Gilbert near Durham. This was the home of the Priors of Durham Cathedral in the Middle Ages. It was built by Prior Bertram de Middleton on his retirement in 1258. It was altered and extended several times between the early 14th century and early 16th century. Upon the dissolution of the priory in the 16th century, it became the home of the Deans of Durham Cathedral. It was defensively located above the River Browney, although this did not stop it being attacked several times in its history. The beginning of its end came in 1640 ( and 1644) it was ravaged by Scottish soldiers who left it in ruins. From then on it deteriorated further into the ruin seen in this 18th century drawing.

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