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: £139 per night

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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: £127 per night

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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: £114 per night

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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.

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.

Farm Purchace

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

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.

Moving forward

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

Tithe Barn Cottages

Conversion started on our 3 separate holiday lets

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:

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.

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.

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.

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

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  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  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 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  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... read more

    avatar thumb Daydream8...
    2 October 2018

    star rating  Warm welcome, clean and well maintained, everything you need. Close to lovely walks and dog friendly.

    avatar thumb PatziSarg
    20 September 2018

    star rating  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... read more

    avatar thumb BobbyDurh...
    3 September 2018

    star rating  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... read more

    avatar thumb Karen H
    28 June 2017

Contact Us

For general enquiries and further information,
please contact us;

Tithe Barn Cottages
Rectory Farm
Hall Walk
Easington Village
County Durham

+447582 347 432


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