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Bardsey Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Bardsey Cum Rigton.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Leeds.
1974 county of West Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE36604333
Latitude 53.88488° Longitude -1.44466°

Bardsey Castle Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle Hill is situated on a hill overlooking the village of Bardsey cum Rigton. The monument includes the remains of the motte and part of the surrounding bailey. The motte is of an unusual form, consisting of two roughly rectangular platforms on an east-west alignment joined by a central causeway. Ditches flank the causeway which is c.8m wide. The motte itself measures c.100m long by c.30m wide and varies between 1m and 2m high. Partial excavations carried out in the late nineteenth century and in 1930 revealed the foundations of a square stone keep and pottery dating to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. The motte is situated at the centre of a flat oval bailey whose scarped edge, in the medieval period, would have been crowned by a wall or, more likely, a timber palisade. Beyond the scarp lay a 20m wide berm surrounded by an outer ditch, part of which survives on the east side of the site. Beyond this would have lain an outer bailey but this has now largely been built over. Platforms on the east side of the site indicate the presence of ancillary buildings within the bailey. These are overlain by ridge and furrow, the remains of medieval ploughing, showing that the site was abandoned early in its history. The pottery recovered from the site, which dates only from c.1175 to c.1200, also indicates that the period of occupation was short. Almost certainly, the castle was built by Adam de Bruce, an important North Yorkshire baron, who was granted the manor of Bardsey shortly after 1175 as part-compensation for the loss of his estates around Danby. The de Bruce family petitioned continually for the return of their northern lands and were finally successful in 1201. The manor of Bardsey then reverted to the Crown and was subsequently granted to the monks of Kirkstall Abbey. The castle would have been abandoned at about this time, having been in use for only a quarter of a century. (Scheduling Report)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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