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Cowton Castle, South Cowton

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Gilling West near Richmond 2; Coluton Castle

In the civil parish of South Cowton.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ29390236
Latitude 54.41605° Longitude -1.54766°

Cowton Castle, South Cowton has been described as a certain Tower House.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Castle now farmhouse. Late C15 with C19 alterations. Parapet of south-west tower rebuilt in 1980. For Sir Richard Conyers. Rubblestone with ashlar dressings. Concrete tile roof. Rectangular with south-west and nort-east towers and rebuilt outshut on the west side. 3 storeys, towers 4 storeys. North-east elevation: 4 bays. Ground floor: four-centred-arched door with two-light plate traceried overlight and hoodmould. Windows in chamfered- quoined surrounds. To left 3-light plate-traceried window with hoodmould. To right, a 2-shouldered-arch-light window. First floor: 3-light window with relieving arch to left. Central 2-light window with relieving arch. To right 2-shouldered-arch-light window with single-light window above and below. Stair tower on right has one-light pointed-arch windows with flat hoodmoulds. Carved stone panel in between first-and second-floor windows. Embattled parapets. South-west elevation has 2-light window and 3-light window, chamfered, with cusped-pointed arches and flat hoodmoulds. Interior: north-east tower has spiral stone stair . Sir Richard Conyers was granted an annuity by Richard m for services rendered during the War of the Roses. Then the Bowes family lived at the castle until 1605. Sir George Bowes, Provost Marshall to Queen Elizabeth I, suppressed the Rising of the North in 1569. (Listed Building Report)

Cowton Castle standing on the end of a prominent ridge or plateau, a short distance to the south-east. This building is a single rectangular embattled tower 60 ft. by 25 ft., standing north and south on the end of a high ridge, overlooking low-lying ground to the north and north-west. There are projecting turrets at the north-east and north-west, the former being the larger, 15 ft. 6 in. by 6 ft. 6 in. as against 9 ft. by 6 ft. 6 in.; both turrets rise above the level of the tower roof and carry a slightly projecting embattled parapet of the same type as those on the tower. The whole is rubble built with wrought stone angles, and has a low modern roof covered with stone slates. The original arrangement of its floors and rooms has been destroyed, the present floors being modern and at different levels from the old ones, and the main entrance to the tower is now by a doorway in the east wall, the original doorway opening to a newel stair in the north-east turret, being now blocked. On this turret are the Conyers' arms surrounded by an inscription in black letter smalls, which though fairly well preserved is very difficult to read. Over the present entrance doorway in the east wall are the Conyers' arms impaling Wycliffe, a cheveron between three crosslets. The north end of the building is chiefly taken up with a large fireplace, and has small square-headed windows. In the east wall the windows appear to be modern copies of the originals, single cinquefoiled lights in the turret and larger three-light windows on the main wall. The south side has also large modern windows. On the west side several original windows are preserved, one of three cinquefoiled lights under a square head and another of two lights. The turret has a single uncusped light on the ground floor with a triangular head, and in the upper part a single cinquefoiled light with a square head. In the main wall to the north of the turret are four two-light windows one above another, the lower three square-headed and the fourth of two cinquefoiled lights. A short distance to the north-east of the tower and on the side of the slope is a stone-built well, and to the west of the tower, where are now farm buildings, a stone gateway was in existence until comparatively recent times. There was doubtless some kind of walled area round the castle, forming a courtyard or cattle inclosure sufficient to give protection during a raid. If any stronger defences ever existed here they have been entirely destroyed. (VCH)

Late 15th century tower house, altered in the 19th century and repaired in 1980. Rectangular in plan, with towers to the south west and north east. The building is three storeyed, with four storey towers, and is constructed of stone rubble with a concrete tile roof. Now a farmhouse. (PastScape)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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