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Yafforth Howe Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Jaford; Iaford

In the civil parish of Yafforth.
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: SE34669501
Latitude 54.34946° Longitude -1.46827°

Yafforth Howe Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The remains of a motte castle known as Howe Hill, located in low lying land in the flood plain of the River Wiske. The motte is an artificial mound built on the top of a natural rounded knoll. It is a flat topped mound 65m in diameter at the base and 25m across on the top. It stands 4.5m high above the top of the knoll. The base of the motte is surrounded by a ditch with an outer counterscarp bank. The ditch is partly infilled in places, leaving a level terrace, although elsewhere, particularly around the south east side, both the ditch and the counterscarp bank survive as earthworks. There are traces of an entranceway through the bank and ditch at the north side. Originally there would have been a timber structure on the top of the motte and a further timber pallisade fence protecting the outer bank. Access to the motte would be via a timber superstructure leading from a strongly built gatehouse. The motte was probably built during the reign of King Stephen between 1135 and 1154. During this period there was political unrest throughout England and forts capable of garrisoning a small force of troops were established to maintain order. This motte commanded the crossing of the River Wiske by the old High Road from Northallerton to Catterick and Richmond. It was probably suppressed by Henry II during the late 12th century. (Scheduling Report)

A natural hillock formed into a motte some 75' diameter at the top. The motte rose some 16' above the ditch which encircled it, and part of the counterscarp bank of which still remains on the north and south sides. Probably erected during the reign of Stephen, 1135-1154. There was no bailey. (PastScape ref. l'Anson, 1913)
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:49

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