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Kippax Manor Garth Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Manor Hall Garth; Cheeney Basin; Ilkston; Kypexk

In the civil parish of Garforth.
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: SE417304
Latitude 53.76825° Longitude -1.36951°

Kippax Manor Garth Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Manor Garth Hill is situated on a south facing spur above the village of Kippax. The monument includes the remains of a ringwork and part of the surrounding ditch. On its east side, beneath the Church of St Mary and its churchyard, is the bailey which was formerly attached to the ringwork and would have contained ancillary buildings such as stables and accommodation for servants and men-at-arms. This, however, is not included in the scheduling as both the church and churchyard are in current ecclesiastical use. The ringwork survives as a roughly circular enclosure with an interior diameter of c.25m and an earthwork bank standing to a maximum height c.5m. A platform within the interior has been interpreted as the site of a building known to have existed in the seventeenth century whilst, on the south-east side, is a fragment of walling of a similar date. To the west, partially overlain by the church hall, are the remains of a defensive hornwork while, surrounding the monument, are the buried remains of its ditch. The bank will contain the remains of the medieval timber palisade while the remains of contemporary timber buildings will survive in the interior along with the stone foundations of the post-medieval structures. Kippax was an important centre in the late Anglo-Saxon period and retained this status after the Norman Conquest, becoming an early administrative centre of the honour of Pontefract until succeeded in this role by Barwick in Elmet. The ringwork is believed to date to the early post-Conquest period but had been largely superseded by the thirteenth century, for which reason its wooden structures were never rebuilt in stone. Medieval motte surviving as an earthwork is visible as an earthwork on air photographs. A Roman glass bottle was found here in 1865. The motte is from 9 to 15 feet above the ditch and there is still a breastwork of earth containing walling around the top. The motte is 100 feet in diameter. There are remains of a bailey. The earthwork is scheduled. (PastScape)

Kippax: Manor Garth Hill - The motte is rather low varying from nine to fifteen feet above the ditch, but seems to be of its original height, as it still retains a breastwork of earth round the top. There are signs of a wall under this breastwork. The diameter of the top is 100 ft. One ditch has been filled up; there are projections to the west of the hill as though a sort of low and broad terrace had been made there. There are signs that the bailey lay to the east in land now annexed to the churchyard, but its area cannot be determined. The site is not specially defensible, ... Kippax was a demesne manor of Ilbert de Laci at Domesday. In 1258 it was held of the King in chief as a baron (Yorks Inq (Yorks Rec.Ser), i, 63). (PastScape–ref VCH, 1912)

Ring-motte close to Norman church, clearly original a revetted segmented bank around some building platforms, an extension to the church yard may occupy the bailey, if this castle had one.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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