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Stainby Tower Hill

In the civil parish of Gunby And Stainby.
In the historic county of Lincolnshire.
Modern Authority of Lincolnshire.
1974 county of Lincolnshire.
Medieval County of Lincolnshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK90962268
Latitude 52.79403° Longitude -0.65246°

Stainby Tower Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Tower Hill motte castle survives well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. These will preserve evidence of the original form of the fortifications and layout of the buildings within them. The artificially raised ground will preserve evidence of land-use prior to the construction of the motte. The association of the motte castle with the medieval manor of Stainby contributes to an understanding of the inter-relationship of contemporary components of the medieval landscape.
The monument includes the medieval motte known as Tower Hill located on the south side of the present village of Stainby. In 1086 Alfred of Lincoln held a manor in Stainby. The manor remained intact until the mid-13th century and was then divided between two families, de Cumpton and de Holywell. It is believed that the latter family held the manorial centre in Stainby during the 13th century.
Situated toward the top of a steep north-facing slope, the motte takes the form of a subcircular mound surrounded by a ditch. The motte stands up to 3m in height with a flat top approximately 20m in diameter. Low earthworks on the top of the motte are thought to indicate the location of buried building remains. A bank, up to 0.5m high, which encloses the top of the motte, is thought to indicate the location of the buried remains of a wall or palisade. The motte is in turn enclosed by a ditch measuring between 5m to 10m in width and 0.5m deep. A causeway which crosses the ditch at the north eastern side may indicate the location of an original access point. (Scheduling Report)

At the time of survey the earthwork consisted of a mound nearly three metres high with a central area of 900 square metres, having a ridge around the undamaged part of its outer edge which may correspond to a buried wall. The ditch, which is almost 40 metres from outer rim to outer rim as seen varied in width from five to ten metres and its depth from 0.33 to 0.5 metres. The fall in the ditch, which goes from 124.325 metres OD in the north to 125.815 metres OD in the south, and the height of the northern bank at 124.655 metres OD, strongly suggest that the ditch may never have held water. (Roffe)

A motte at one end of the small village of Stainby, beside the manor house, the church being at the other end of the village 450m away. It is overlooked by higher land to the south. There are no earthworks of a bailey but a house and farm occupy the land to the east. The bailey earthworks have either been levelled to allow for the later development of this farm and manor house or none ever existed and the motte stood in isolation as a symbol of the knightly status of the the tenants of the manor. It may be that if the motte was symbolic of tenurial status it is of late C12 date as the manor may not have been enfeoffed until after 1185.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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