Welcome to Tithe Barn Cottages

Historical Cottages in East Durham

Our 3 beautiful dog friendly self catering holiday cottages, located on the east Durham heritage coast, provide the perfect home away from home for a restful break in complete luxury. With all the comforts of home, from flatscreen tv and WiFi to washer dryers and dishwashers, comfortable furnishings and linens and for cosy nights in a wood burning stove; you’ll find it hard to leave.

We have lovingly renovated and restored our historic 13th century grade 2 * listed tithe barn and created 3 fabulous luxuriously appointed holiday cottages. 

The Tithe Barn Cottages

The Farmhouse

Farmhouse exterior view

Located to the west side of the old medieval longhouse, the Farmhouse is the largest of our cottages.
It was used for many years; up until 1974, as the Farmhouse of Rectory Farm.

Prices start at: £420 for 4 nights

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The Hayloft

Hayloft Cottage living and dining area

The Hayloft Our first floor apartment, located at the east of the longhouse. It was originally, as the name suggests, used as a storage area on our family farm. The main space is a wonderfully bright, airy, spacious area containing a modern fully fitted kitchen, dining table and comfortable living area with wood burning stove. … Continue reading “Historical Hayloft Apartment”

Prices start at: £520 for 4 nights

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The Byre

The Byre Our smallest and cosiest cottage with all the comforts and conveniences of home.Located on the ground floor at the east of the longhouse it is ideal for those with slight mobility difficulties.It was, as its name suggests, previously used to house cattle on our family farm. The main area contains a fully fitted … Continue reading “Historical Byre Cottage”

Prices start at: £416 for 4 nights

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Our History

Our cottages are housed within a grade 2 * listed, historically important, medieval longhouse situated on the edge of Easington Village which was originally a Saxon settlement.

It is believed the building may have been built by the Prince Bishops of Durham as a place of worship whilst the nearby Norman church was being built, however expert historical opinion is divided on this. It is generally accepted that it dates back to the 13th century despite there being a Saxon window in the east gable end, (which can be seen from the garden and parking area).

Throughout its long history it has had many purposes, including being a retreat for the monks from the nearby Durham Cathedral world heritage site. It is believed that the first floor was used as accommodation (most likely dormitories) whilst underneath on the ground floor livestock would have been housed. This was fairly common place, as the rising heat from the animals helped to warm the first floor – a kind of medieval central heating system. 

There is some suggestion that it was home to the only English pope, Pope Adrian IV (born Nicholas Breakspear) for a short time, however we are not altogether sure whether this holds up to historical scrutiny. You can read more on Pope Adrian IV on Wikipedia

The Longhouse would almost certainly have been part of the Seaton Holme (the oldest domestic Manor House in England) manorial complex which at one time had its own fish ponds and orchards.

Where does the name come from?

A tithe was one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy.
It seems that until fairly recent times the building has had close links with the church and Durham Cathedral. 

It’s unclear when the building left the ownership of the church.

Family Farm

Our family moved onto Rectory Farm which like most farms in the area at this time was rented from the owners the South Hetton Coal Company.

1930s

Deemed Uninhabitable

Sadly the building was rather unloved and neglected and by the time our grandmother died in 1974 the local authority condemned the building as being unfit for human habitation. Unfortunately the new owners the National Coal Board did not invest in the old building and it remained empty and quickly began further deteriorating.

1974

Farm Purchace

Our father bought the farm by which point the building was derelict and the cost of repair was unrealistic.

1983

East Durham Groundwork

A charitable organisation, East Durham Groundwork, purchased the building and with the assistance of grants began the lengthy process of renovation, after which the building was used as one of their offices.

1997

Moving forward

We became aware of the opportunity to reacquire the building and following purchase.

2015

Tithe Barn Cottages

Conversion started on our 3 separate holiday lets

2016

We genuinely feel great affection for this wonderful building, and its history and we take great pleasure in being able to share it with our guests whom we hope will also love and enjoy it.

Out & About at Tithe Barn Cottages

The cottages adjoin our family farm which is within Easington Village itself. 

Tithe Barn Cottages are located approximately 2 miles from the Durham heritage coast and the National Trust coastal path which runs the entire length of Durham’s coastline.

Easington Villages’ origins are agricultural. There is a large green still at the heart of the village. On a clear day the view from the top of the green down the coast towards Whitby is spectacular.
The adjoining village is Easington Colliery, which as its name suggests grew up around the coal mine. The film Billy Elliot was shot here.

We are centrally located between world heritage site Durham, Sunderland and Hartlepool  – all approximately 15 minutes drive away. 
Newcastle Upon Tyne and the Metrocentre are both approximately 30 minutes by car.
There is a train station at Seaham, with a local services to Sunderland and Newcastle to the North and Hartlepool and Middlesbrough to the South. 
There is a train station in Durham which is on the main east coast line, with direct services to London, York and Edinburgh.

We are blessed with numerous glorious beaches both locally and also a little further afield in Northumberland and North Yorkshire.
Seaham and its world famous sea glass beach is approximately 5 miles away although it is worth mentioning that the beach at Easington is also an excellent place to collect sea glass and not nearly as busy. The beaches at Seaburn in Sunderland and South Shields are both excellent with vast, clean stretches of sand.

Explore Further

Northumberland (approx 1 -1.5 hours drive away) has a huge choice of clean sandy beaches. Our favourites are Bamburgh and Warkworth, both with magnificent castles and picturesque villages as a backdrop.
North Yorkshire  (approx 45 mins – 1 hour away) has quaint fishing villages clinging to the cliff sides. The beaches are well worth the walk down (and unfortunately back up) the seemingly never ending steps. As well as the ever popular Whitby and Scarborough, Staithes and Ruswick Bay are also lovely.

Having excellent transport links, many of the regions attractions are within easy reach:

Local Attractions

Durham Castle

Durham Castle

Sitting at the heart of Durham's World Heritage Site and occupied continuously since the 11th century, the Castle is now home to the students of University College, part of Durham University.

Durham Cathedral from the river

Durham Cathedral

Set on a rocky promontory next to the Castle, with the medieval city huddled below and the river sweeping round, the profile of the World Heritage Site is instantly recognisable to travellers on the East...

'Tiny Tim' the steam hammer at the Beamish Museum entrance.

Beamish Museum

Beamish is a world famous open air museum, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s & 1950s.

Alnwick Castle in the evening

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle has over 950 years of history to discover, and the origins of the Castle date back to the Norman period. Since 1309, its story has been intertwined with that of the Percy family.

Sunderland National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre

It was in the nearby St. Peter's Church glass making was introduced to Britain by Benedict Biscop, this was to make windows for the Monkweremouth-Jarrow Priory built in 674AD.

Hunting for sea glass on Seaham beach

Sea Glass in East Durham

Sea Glass can be found on many of the beaches of East Durham, many are just a short walk from Tithe Barn Cottages

Hayloft front entrance at sunset

Tithe Barn Cottage Reviews

EXCELLENT
9.5
20 reviews on
Rachel
Rachel
30. October, 2021.
10
Verified
Exceptional
Lisa
Lisa
2. October, 2021.
10
Verified
Tithe barn cottages ☺ Beautiful cottage in a lovely area everything you could possibly need was very impressed and would highly recommend the Tithe barn cottages
Sandeepnanda
Sandeepnanda
27. September, 2021.
9.0
Verified
Excellant ☺ Quality of the premises and contents was really good. W ☹ We could have done with a couple of small fans as it was a warm week in the UK and we had to keep the windows open in the night.
Paddy
Paddy
20. September, 2021.
10
Verified
Great ☺ Gorgeous conversion, huge rooms and very stylish. Lovely welcome pack too! ☹ Everything was great
Peter
Peter
17. September, 2021.
8.0
Verified
Excellent. We were able to book 2 apartments so enjoyed use of both with extended family ☺ Historical building at heart of pretty village. Lovely big lounge/kitchen. ☹ Nowhere to kick a ball about. Bedrooms a bit small... but not a big deal.
David
David
14. August, 2021.
10
Verified
Exceptional
Richard
Richard
12. August, 2021.
7.0
Verified
Great property, but… ☺ The property is lovely inside, very well set up and has loads of space. It was clean and well provisioned. We found it a great place to relax. ☹ Sadly I had expected the enclosed garden to be immediately accessible from the door of the property. Whilst there is a small garden it is at the other end of the car park and so it was not possible to just let my dog out into the garden before heading to bed etc. This did not spoil our holiday too much, but was not what I was expecting from the property description.
Patrick
Patrick
2. July, 2021.
10
Verified
Exceptional
Vern
Vern
3. June, 2021.
7.0
Verified
Lovely comfortable accommodations - hope you love the cows outside your window ☺ The interior fittings and furnishings are all lovely - very comfortable beds, and excellent water pressure in the shower. ☹ Not keen on the ridiculous proximity to cows on the neighbour's property - can literally stare them in the eye through the windows while walking down the corridor. And they make a lot of noise.
David
David
26. May, 2021.
10
Verified
Relaxing. As it was the first holiday in 14 months due to Covid, Perfect. ☺ Location was ideal for where we wanted to visit. 14th Century Barn was renovated to a high standard providing large spacious rooms. Master bedroom and en suite in particular. Though next to a working farm it was a quiet and peaceful place to stay. Local Village chip shop provided the best Fish and Chips we have had in years. Green close by to take dogs for a walk. Owners were helpful and thoughtful - would definitely stay again. ☹ The weather. Cold and wet for May though the owners cannot be blamed for that. Though there was some green space around there was no garden that was specifically for the property. Again, the nature of the Barns means this is not possible to change.
EXCELLENT
13 reviews on
Sharon
Sharon
2023-02-07
Lovely staging point for our visit seeing family in the north east . The house is beautifully done and very warm and comfortable. Good location to visit the local attractions . Kathryn and Terry were excellent hosts , very friendly and nothing was too much trouble . Would recommend .
Sarah
Sarah
2022-06-03
Just perfect hosts. The accomodation could not be faulted.
Alice
Alice
2021-09-19
Lovely place to stay, had everything we needed - would stay again if in the area.
Hattie
Hattie
2019-10-26
Kathryn was a great host and the cottage is lovely. Very nice touches like fresh eggs and coffee. Really cosy place to stay, we would definitely stay again!
Anne
Anne
2019-07-01
A really lovely place. Comfortable and I can imagine in the winter - cosy. I was there in the summer and the thick walls kept it lovely and cool. We loved our stay there. So lovely that you are dog friendly. Kathryn is a wonderful host. I would definitely stay here again. Very well equipped if you want to cook in. Lovely welcome basket, coffee, tea, biscuits and eggs from Kathryn's chickens! Hope to see you again soon.
Jane
Jane
2019-06-09
A lovely, cosy property, superbly equipped for guests and in a good situation for visiting Durham and the surrounding areas. Clear instructions made the house easy to find, with easy checking in and out as Kathryn lives next door. We hope to be back one day!
Esme
Esme
2019-05-27
We had a lovely stay. Everything you could possibly need, lovely places near by. Kathryn was incredibly welcoming. We will definitely go again.
Jenny
Jenny
2019-03-25
Superb accommodation. Extremely clean, wonderfully equipped and the bed was so comfortable I wanted to take it home with me . I would definitely recommend a stay here.
Laurie
Laurie
2019-03-04
We stayed in the Byre, the smallest of the three properties, and it was great in every way. Warm, comfortable, spotlessly clean and so well appointed. It was just as comfortable as being at home. We stayed there with our daughter who is a final year student at Durham University and would certainly recommend it to other parents of Durham students who need a few nights away from the stresses of univeristy life. Wish we'd found it earlier!
Will
Will
2019-03-01
Great cottage, great host
EXCELLENT
30 reviews on
R C (RC)
R C (RC)
28. May, 2023.
I have now stayed in the Brye twice and Hayloft once both are absolutely perfect so well kept recommend both without hesitation
R C
R C
22. January, 2023.
I have stayed at the cottage twice now and every thing has been perfect on both occasions i would recommend with total confidence
Sharron Cranmer
Sharron Cranmer
28. December, 2022.
We stayed for Christmas and had a really lovely time. The cottage is very easy to access, cosy, clean, spacious and very well equipped. You can watch the cows and calves in the barn out of the window which was lovely. Easy access to beautiful beaches and coastal walks.
David O'leary
David O'leary
27. September, 2022.
What a fantastic accommodation this is Everything you need is there and I mean everything furnished to a very standard and impeccably clean Would recommend with no hesitation
J Lilley
J Lilley
4. September, 2022.
Fantastic properties - we’ve stayed in two of them and hope to return again, can’t fault them. Well equipped, clean, great location - like a home from home.
Blue AstroSailor
Blue AstroSailor
14. August, 2022.
Visited my friend whilst she stayed here. It was gorgeous. And the hosts were lovely to her.
Pauline Reilly
Pauline Reilly
24. July, 2022.
The Byre at Tithe Barn Holiday cottages is a fabulous place to stay. Everything you need is provided. The rooms are styled beautifully. Everything is so comfortable. We saw Kathryn when we arrived. Just to check we had everything we needed. I would Highly recommend staying here. We’ll be back.
Lin Watson
Lin Watson
23. July, 2022.
Lovely cottage, great week, thank you Kathryn

Trip Advisor Reviews

EXCELLENT
16 reviews on
Helen H
Helen H
28. August, 2020.
Verified
Best holiday rental in the UK On the last day of our week here, we had a long hard think. We have stayed in some fantastic holiday lets in the UK and we think this is the best yet. The place is spacious yet cozy, the kitchen very well equipped, the little outside courtyard perfect for barbecues, almost a bit too posh for hanging out towels to dry (but we did). The owners Kathryn and Terry are there when you need them and not when you don't and the place is covidly clean! A lovely bottle of wine and some tasty crisps to go with (thanks!) were a perfect welcome after a long journey while supper cooked. We visited the area to try somewhere we had never been before and to avoid the crowds and we succeeded on both counts. The wildlife is incredible, a profusion of wildflowers even in late summer, we saw a stoat, two large pods of dolphins, grey seals, lots of seabirds, herons and more. We had a day on the beach at Roker, coastal walks, walks along the denes, walks up in the Pennines to High and Low Force and days out to Durham and Barnard Castle a la Dominic Cummings! We had the best week away and would recommend highly.
M & S
M & S
10. November, 2019.
Verified
Fabulous Return Visit Having just returned from what is now our yearly visit to these fabulous cottages for our family reunion Tinsel and Tea weekend. Fun and laughter from start to finish. Comfortable and spotless with Kathryn Terry and Ian once again being so obliging making our weekend go without a hitch. Would highly recommend Tithe Barn. WE WILL BE BACK !!
Floral14
Floral14
6. September, 2019.
Verified
Perfect We (2 adults, 2 children) stayed in the Farmhouse, and other family members in the Hayloft and the Byre, and all 3 cottages were perfect for our needs. The Farmhouse is absolutely stunning - incredible master bedroom, with the most beautiful window, and a huge en suite! The whole cottage was so well kitted out that we immediately felt right at home - the welcome pack was lovely too, especially the fresh eggs! The area was fascinating too, and we feel like there is an awful lot more to explore - especially the glorious beaches. We definitely plan to return!
Helen C
Helen C
15. June, 2019.
Verified
A wonderful place to stay We stayed in the Hayloft for two nights. We were met at the door by the owner Kathryn who was very welcoming. The property itself exceeded our expectations. There is a stunning kingside bedroom which my boyfriend and I used, with a beautiful en suite bathroom with a large bathtub . The furnishings were excellent with the bed being extremely comfortable. There was also a twin room with en suite shower room which was perfect for my dad and brother. The open plan lounge kitchen was ideal for what we needed, and when we had guests for drinks the second night there was plenty of space for everyone. The kitchen is very well fitted out, with everything you would need for a very comfortable stay. Very important for me was a good teapot and a huge supply of teabags. We had a look around the other properties before we left and they are all just as stunning!
Traveler51771663506
Traveler51771663506
27. February, 2019.
Verified
A luxury home from home! This property did not disappoint. It has wonderful character, but is homely and cosy at the same time. It was spotlessly clean and provided everything for a luxury self catering holiday - the kitchen contained everything you could possibly need, woodburner was laid ready to light, fresh flowers. A warm welcome awaited us on arrival, as well as a welcome tray of essentials which was lovely. The local shops and pub are within easy walking distance. Great home cooked food at the Half Moon! The property is in a good location for travelling to places of interest in the local area, and also close to the coast. Would certainly stay again, as so much we didn't see and do! Thank you Kathryn for sharing your amazing property!
Daydream811994
Daydream811994
2. October, 2018.
Verified
Beautifully presented, immaculately clean and very comfortable So many little extras it felt like home from home. Kathryn was most accommodating with our extra requests, the barn was tastefully decorated with attention to detail. We would stay here again and again when in the area.
PatziSarg
PatziSarg
20. September, 2018.
Verified
Lovely cottage Warm welcome, clean and well maintained, everything you need. Close to lovely walks and dog friendly.
BobbyDurham
BobbyDurham
3. September, 2018.
Verified
Stunning We booked The Byre for two nights to accommodate some of our American visitors. This is truly a hidden gem. We live just around the corner and only found out about the cottages by chance. Our visitors appreciated the history of the building and the modern conveniences. The cottage is well appointed, beautifully decorated and definitely deserves 5 stars.
Karen H
Karen H
28. June, 2017.
Verified
beautifully restored building with all the comforts of home! Kathryn and Terry have done a superb job restoring this beautiful building. They are wonderful hosts and each room is decorated tastefully and comfortably. It is apparent that they take pride in this gorgeous home. It is about an hour from historic York and the town has pub style eateries. A short drive to grocery stores and the sea. Our stay was 3 nights which was too short!
Jane M
Jane M
22. May, 2017.
Verified
Mrs This is lovely accommodation Terry and Katherine made us so welcome very high spec ***** Definitely returning here

Contact Us

For general enquiries and further information,
please contact us;

Tithe Barn Cottages
Rectory Farm
Hall Walk
Easington Village
County Durham
SR8 3BS

+447582 347 432

info@tithebarncottages.co.uk

Alternatively, use the contact form and we will respond
as soon as we can.