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 

Haltwhistle Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Haltwhistle.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY71126416
Latitude 54.97123° Longitude -2.45261°

Haltwhistle Castle Hill has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.


Castle Hill is a prominent, probably natural mound located towards the eastern end of Haltwhistle and a little way to the west of the steeply incised Haltwhistle Burn. It has long been considered a motte (Hodgson 1840, 117-18; Hunter Blair 1944, 164; Long 1967, 114). The western side of the mound certainly appears to have been artificially scarped and it is topped with a bank between 0.9m and 1.2m in height which today survives around the north and east sides. This would seem, morphologically, to make it a ringwork rather than a motte. Despite much conjecture, little has been determined about the detailed chronology of these earthworks, and the mound is, today, quite severely impacted by development. An archaeological watching brief carried out in 1992 when foundations were dug for an extension to Brae Bonny House, which lies against the mound, recovered one sherd of green-glazed pottery. The monitoring archaeologist concluded that the site had been levelled at some previous date and also established that an earlier extension of an adjacent house had required excavation deep into the mound, revealing 'several layers of stratigraphy'. Hodgson conjectured that Castle Hill was the site of the medieval court for South Tynedale, as Wark-on-Tyne was for North Tynedale (1840, 119), but this does not appear to be supported by any documentary evidence, which is relatively plentiful for the role of Wark in this function. Indeed, in 1290, an inquiry into the death of a man in Haltwhistle resulting from a quarrel in the town was heard at Wark before the Bailiffs of Tynedale (Polson 1902, 74), presumably meaning that there was no court at Haltwhistle to carry out this function. (Northumberland Extensive Urban Survey)

Probable early Norman ringwork castle partially surviving as an earthwork. Modern development has destroyed much, but a substantial bank remains on the east side. Presumably well out of use before Musgrove Tower was erected within banks. Excavations on the hill in 1992 found medieval pottery.
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 09:21:28

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