The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Grinton Oxhill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ox Hill

In the civil parish of Grinton.
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: SE05029842
Latitude 54.38186° Longitude -1.92610°

Grinton Oxhill has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.


Two earthwork platforms set on a glacial ridge, one roughly square the other oval enclosed by an earth and stone bank. The exact purpose of these buildings is uncertain, but a medieval date has been suggested. (PastScape)

Set on top of the east end of a glacial ridge on the south side of the River Swale and centred at SE 05059846 is a level platform 'A' measuring approximately 50.0m square and about 1.6m high. The centre is featureless apart from a small uneven area to the north east. Surrounding this platform is a 'berm' or possibly a shallow infilled ditch? about 6.0m wide with traces of an outer bank in the south and west sides. This 'berm' has been mutilated by a circular excavation in the south west corner. Remains of a Medieval field system encroach on the 'berm' at the south east slopes of the glacial ridge as a field bank and lynchet. (See illustration card). About 150.0m to the west, the summit of the same glacial ridge has been levelled to form a roughly pear shaped area 'B', at SE 04909849. The interior of this area is occupied by the footings of a brick built building and a modern Royal Observer Corps post which have probably destroyed any earlier remains. The base of the ridge has been surrounded in the east and south by an earth and stone bank about 3.0m wide varying in height. In the north it follows the edge of the ridge up to the summit then cuts down the slope towards the south west corner to complete the enclosure which measures about 80.0m north to south by 70.0m. An entrance central to this bank in the east gives access to the interior and slight remains of a low bank can be seen going north west up the slope to the summit. There may possibly have been an approach up the slopes in the west. The two summits of 'A' and 'B' are separated by a natural hollow which has been artificially steepened in parts by scarping (the debris going to level platform 'A' to the east and contains a probable contemporary pond. The exact purpose of these earthworks is problematical and it is uncertain if A and B are contemporary or not. Both have probably been selected for habitation (though there are no definite traces of any now) but are only slightly "protected" rather than well defended as might have been expected. The remains (which could possibly be uncompleted and mutilated by later use) are suggestive of Medieval period. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 AGM 08-AUG-77)

In effect the two hills have been turned in a motte and bailey respectively with a wider than usual space between them. The site is also dated as Iron Age although multi period use is probable. The location, near Grinton church and overlooking a crossing of the Swale, is strategic and medieval use is likely. There are hints the larger mound had a ditch at its base, presumably soon infilled with regular flooding from the Swale, suggesting the defences may have been stronger than the field investigator suggests.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact