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Arkholme with Cawood Chapel Hill

In the civil parish of Arkholme with Cawood.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Lancashire.
1974 county of Lancashire.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD58937184
Latitude 54.14075° Longitude -2.63017°

Arkholme with Cawood Chapel Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The motte at Arkholme is of particular importance as being one of the group of early post-conquest (late 11th century) mottes established along the Lune valley. These sites were all of strategic importance allowing control of movement along the river valley. More importantly, however, was their role in imposing and demonstrating the new post-conquest feudal order on the area. Of the wider Lune valley group this is one of the best preserved examples. A lengthy period of occupation of the site has been indicated by excavation which revealed evidence of two periods of construction, and use of the motte.
The monument at Arkholme comprises a truncated cone, the remnants of a medieval motte castle, situated on a commanding position dominating a slight bend in the River Lune overlooking an old river crossing. The motte lies in Arkholme churchyard immediately NE of the church, the vestry of which overlies the monument slightly on its SW. The bailey, which was originally attached to the motte, is now very indistinct as it has been considerably disturbed by burials and activities both within and beyond the churchyard. Because of the damaged state of this bailey it is not included in this Scheduling. The churchyard wall runs around the motte on the NW, N and E sides and acts as a retaining wall. (Scheduling Report)

Medieval motte surviving as an earthwork, with traces of probable former bailey. Chapel hill is a conical motte, 110ft in diameter at the base, 45ft across the summit and circa 20ft high situated in Arkholme churchyard. There was no distinct traces of ditch around the mound although the sunken footpath to the north west probably represented part of its former course. A raised earthen platform covering about half an acre stood adjacent to the motte and may have acted as a bailey. a small excavation on the summit of the Motte in 1904 revealed two distinct phases, one below the turf and another 9ft lower. The lower deposit may represent a possible ringwork phase. Further excavations in 1973-4 confirmed the presence of two phases and suggested the upper phase was incomplete. Medieval pottery and a Neolithic or Bronze Age scraper were also found. (PastScape)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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