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Kilton Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kylton

In the civil parish of Lockwood .
In the historic county of Yorkshire North Riding.
Modern Authority of Redcar & Cleveland.
1974 county of Cleveland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ702176
Latitude 54.54879° Longitude -0.91624°

Kilton Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

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

Description

The remains of a tower keep castle of 13th century date, situated in a prominent position on a long and narrow rocky promontory where it commands the valley of the Kilton Beck. The castle is a Listed Building Grade I. Although a timber castle is thought to have been constructed at Kilton between 1135-40, the remains visible today are those of a stone built castle constructed about 1190-1200 by the Kilton family. The castle is mentioned in a document of 1265 in which a chantry was granted to an existing chapel at the site. The castle was abandoned as a dwelling soon afterwards, and in 1341 and 1345 it is described as small and worthless. It was totally abandoned during the 16th century. The castle is protected by a steep slope on the south side and by more gentle slopes on the north and east. At the western end, where access is gained by a narrow neck of land, the castle is protected by a broad moat 46m long, up to 3.5m deep and a maximum of 16m wide. The castle is visible as a narrow, roughly rectangular enclosure with overall dimensions of 98.5m north west to south east by a maximum of 30m. The curtain wall is of rubble construction faced with fine ashlar blocks; in places the latter have been removed and the rubble core is visible. The height of the curtain wall varies from between 1.5m to 5.3m. On the south side, for much of the east side and the south part of the west side, it is visible as the low foundations of a stone wall. The most vulnerable north curtain wall is furnished with several towers; the first at the north east angle is apsidal in shape and stands to a maximum height of 7.5m; it has several windows, one of which is an arrow loop, and there is an internal fireplace in its west wall which retains corbels upon which a mantlepiece rested. There is a doorway through the south wall opening onto a garderobe buttress on the east curtain wall. The foundations of a tower, of similar design but later dismantled to foundation level, are situated at the south east angle of the castle. At the north western corner of the castle there is a rectangular tower which projects beyond the curtain wall and stands to a maximum height of 5m. A tower situated on, and projecting beyond, the north wall of the castle is interpreted as the main defensive structure at the castle. It is visible as the basement of a building 11.5m by 8.6m with walls 2.6m thick and standing to a maximum height of 8.5m. There is a stone buttress at the eastern end of its north wall. Between the latter tower and the north east angle there is a semi-circular tower which contains a circular well shaft with its floor and lining intact. Within the curtain and towers of the castle the interior is divided into two areas; the inner and the outer wards. The inner ward occupies the eastern part of the tower keep castle and its northern part contains the foundations of a range of domestic buildings which open onto a courtyard to the south. The outer ward, which occupies the central and western part of the castle, contains the remains of the east and west walls of a large building in its north western corner; part of the east wall of this building stands to a maximum height of 5m. This building is interpreted as a stable block, and the remains of a first floor doorway are visible leading into the north west angle tower of the castle. Areas of the castle were excavated between 1961 and 1979 and demonstrated that more than one building phase is represented; as originally constructed, the castle consisted of the curtain walls with circular corner towers at the north and south east angles. Both baileys are defended by a ditch to their west sides, that defending the inner bailey was infilled during the 15th century. Excavation also revealed the existence of a gateway to the inner bailey protected by a pair of semi-circular towers which survive below ground level as buried foundations. During the 14th century a domestic range, which also survives below ground level as a series of buried features, was built along the line which separated the inner and outer baileys, and the former hall was converted to kitchens and smaller rooms. During the 15th century the layout of the castle was changed; the inner bailey contained all of the domestic structures and a new hall was constructed in the outer bailey. (Scheduling Report)

Remains of C12 castle, built for tenant of Count de Mortain; partly rebuilt in C13; abandoned in C14. Coursed random sandstone rubble and dressed sandstone; roofless. Long, narrow, roughly-rectangular plan, projecting eastwards into deep ravine. Causeway at west end flanked by remains of moat. Remains include lower 2 storeys of north, east and west walls of tower at north- east angle of inner bailey. Rectangular plan with segmental north end. Cross-arrowloop in north side; fireplace with moulded corbels in ground floor of west wall. Lower parts of C13 bastion, between north-east tower and basement of north and west walls of C13 great tower, projecting from north curtain. 2 storeys of north and west walls of C12 banqueting hall at north-west angle of outer bailey. Lower parts of C12 and C13 curtain walls to east side; and rubble core of lower parts of south curtain wall. (Listed Building Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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