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

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: £146 per night

View Details


The Hayloft

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: £133 per night

View Details


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: £120 per night

View Details


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. 

We 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

'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.

Read More
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 Coast railway line.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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 Coast railway line.

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.

'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.

Ruins of Hadrian's wall at sunset

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall was more than just a barricade; it was a vibrant and multi-cultural occupied military zone of mile-castles, barracks, ramparts, forts and settlements.

Front View of Barnard Castle home of the Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum

The collections are displayed on three floors of the magnificent French-styled building.

Hartlepool Marina

Hartlepool Marina

Nestling on the Tees Valley in the North East of England the Hartlepool Marina is ideally placed for access to the open sea and for cruising in the sheltered waters of Tees Bay offering picturesque seascapes with the pretty back drop of Hartlepool Headland.

Sunderland National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre

On the North bank of the river Wear is the National Glass Center. 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.

Hayloft front entrance at sunset

Tithe Barn Cottage Reviews

EXCELLENT
9,5
20 reviews on
Rachel
Rachel
30. October, 2021.
10
Verified
Exceptional
Read more
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
Read more
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.
Read more
Paddy
Paddy
20. September, 2021.
10
Verified
Great ☺ Gorgeous conversion, huge rooms and very stylish. Lovely welcome pack too!☹ Everything was great
Read more
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.
Read more
David
David
14. August, 2021.
10
Verified
Exceptional
Read more
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.
Read more
Patrick
Patrick
2. July, 2021.
10
Verified
Exceptional
Read more
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.
Read more
EXCELLENT
13 reviews on
Adam Polkey
Adam Polkey
24. October, 2021.
recommendsVerified
“Thoroughly enjoyable stay in this beautiful historic farmhouse, sympathetically renovated but with all mod cons. Immaculately clean and we enjoyed the very generous welcome tray with drinks and nibbles….thank you 😁 Hope to be back! “ 👍👍👍👍👍
Read more
Flora Klumpler
Flora Klumpler
4. November, 2019.
recommendsVerified
Best holiday cottage we have ever stayed in, and what an amazing location, too! We will definitely return!
Read more
Andrew Lax
Andrew Lax
3. January, 2019.
recommendsVerified
Five Stars an absolutely stunning cottage with every attention to detail. I’ve now lost count how many times we have been here but every time the owners make us feel so welcome. I can’t recommend this place enough and we will be back again a couple of more times during the year. Happy New Year to you all and thank you once again.
Read more
Naomi Machin
Naomi Machin
13. November, 2018.
recommendsVerified
We've just stayed here last weekend with family up from Oldham, it's absolutely beautiful, I can't believe we have such a lovely hide away so close to home. We checked straight away to see if Easter was free but sadly it's full. We'll be checking every occasion we can to stay again. The cottage is spacious warm and decorated beautifully, the bathrooms and showers were top quality and the beds were huge and really comfortable. The kitchen had everything you could think of if u wanted to cook a meal and the welcome pack with tea coffee milk sugar etc was a great touch. We can't fault a thing. Thank you for having us and we will be back.
Read more
Tamara Meahan
Tamara Meahan
19. October, 2018.
recommendsVerified
Wonderful holiday let with great attention to detail and quality. Very warm welcome from the owners and a lovely welcome pack including eggs from the farm next door.If you want to explore the beautiful Durham Heritage Coast a great base to explore from.
Read more
Janey Adam
Janey Adam
6. August, 2017.
recommendsVerified
Stayed in Hayloft for a family wedding 4-6th August...stunning property, spotlessly clean and beautifully decorated...welcome tea tray with biscuits and fresh flowers from the lovely owners on arrival...already discussing next visit...
Read more
Liz Pitt
Liz Pitt
27. February, 2017.
recommendsVerified
Stayed here with other family members for a reunion, Hosts could not be nicer, nothing too much trouble and the accommodation is excellent . Wish you every success . Definitely rated 5 star ... �
Read more
EXCELLENT
11 reviews on
Alice
Alice
2021-09-19
Lovely place to stay, had everything we needed - would stay again if in the area.
Read more
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!
Read more
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.
Read more
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!
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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!
Read more
Will
Will
2019-03-01
Great cottage, great host
Read more
Nicola
Nicola
2019-02-17
This is a very nice place to stay, indeed. It is spotlessly clean and they have thought of everything to make it hospitable, easy and comfortable. Thank you The Byre made our weekend.
Read more
EXCELLENT
17 reviews on
Katie Ramsden
Katie Ramsden
7. August, 2021.
Verified
Pauline Reilly
Pauline Reilly
23. June, 2021.
Verified
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.
Read more
Marilyn Leitch
Marilyn Leitch
18. June, 2021.
Verified
This place is top of the range in every aspect of hospitality. Furnishings, cleanliness and communication are first class. Kathryn and Terry are to be commended on what they have done with this property and they are the perfect hosts. 5🌟
Read more
Sheila Carter
Sheila Carter
25. May, 2021.
Verified
Great accommodation. Perfect for us to visit family in the north. Very comfortable and we highly recommend.
Read more
Sean McDonnell
Sean McDonnell
22. May, 2021.
Verified
We stay at Tithe Barn regularly have always enjoyed our times there. It’s a truly unique place to stay and at the same time convenient and homely. Expertly ran by Kathryn and Terry who go out of their way to help.
Read more
Lesley Shanks
Lesley Shanks
27. April, 2021.
Verified
Our cottage was spotlessly clean and very comfortable. We were made to feel very welcome. The location is perfect for visiting the area. Thank you Kathryn and Terry.
Read more
Jean Willis
Jean Willis
29. November, 2019.
Verified
Had the most relaxing few days,everything was perfect!
Read more
Mark Vincent
Mark Vincent
29. September, 2019.
Verified
An amazing little gem hidden away in Easington. We stayed for a couple of nights leading up to our daughters wedding. It was perfect. Beautifully fitted out to an exceptionally high standard & lots of room for the Bridal party to get ready from - including photographer, make-up artists and hairdressers. Terry and Kathryn have thought of all those little extras that make it truly special.
Read more
Michel_102
Michel_102
23. August, 2019.
Verified

Trip Advisor Reviews

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb helenhend...
28 August 2020

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb helenhendLed
28 August 2020

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb patterdal...
10 November 2019

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb patterdaleCoDurham
10 November 2019

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb CrochetFl...
6 September 2019

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb CrochetFlora14
6 September 2019

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb Helen C
15 June 2019

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb Traveler5...
27 February 2019

star rating  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... read more

avatar thumb Traveler51771663506
27 February 2019

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.