Barwick lies on the south bank of the River Tees. As with all the medieval villages along the Tees it has been placed close to the river so that the resources of the river could be used as much as possible. The name means ‘Barley Farm’ and probably describes the main cereal crop grown in the medieval period. The remains of the medieval hamlet surround the present farm buildings and comprise earthworks which define plots which once would have contained medieval farms.
The main farm building would have been a ‘longhouse’ built of wattle and daub with a thatched roof. People would have lived in one end of the building and cattle the other, separated by a screened passage.