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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Gaultney; Galclint

In the historic county of Uncertain.
Modern Authority of Uncertain.
1974 county of Uncertain.
Medieval County of Uncertain.

Galchlin has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are uncertain remains.


According to John of Hexham, there was a castle and treasure-house of William d'Albini at Galclint (Gaultney) which was captured by Count Alan of Britanny in 1140. In 1141, Alan had been captured by the Earl of Chester, who starved him into surrendering the castle. (PastScape – Count Alan was earl of Richmond in his own right and earl of Bretagne from his wife's inheritance.)

the appropriate readings from the Paris text (of John of Hexham) are;
(1140) Rannulfus enim comes municiones Lincolnie occupauit sibi. Alanus comes (Richemundie added above the line by another hand ) nocturno furto ascendens per murum irrumpit cum suis in castellum cum thesauro copioso eiecto Willelmo de Albanich cum suis. {Then earl Ranulf occupies all the fortifications of Lincoln. Earl Alan (of Richmond) secretly by night climbed the walls and with his men burst into the castle (of Galchlin and captured the castle) with a large amount of treasure, ejecting from it William d'Aubigny with his men.}
There is no castles named here. The words de Galclint posseditque castellum of the Cambridge text are omitted. It seems likely the scribe, faced with castellum twice in five words, ran on from one to another and omitted these words in error. The next year the castle is named.
(1141) Alanum comitem de richemunt euocatum ad colloquium suum Rannulfus comes apprehendit et castrum de Galchlin et thesaurum in eo repertum sibi reconsignare coegit multa famis afflictione et alia egit in eum molestra. {Earl Randulf summoned earl Alan of Richmond to a conference, and there arrested him and by starvation forced him to render back to him the castle of Galchlin and the treasure he had found in it; he also inflicted other injuries upon him.} (quoted from Edmund King 1980)

Galclint has been variously identified as Lincoln, Gilling in Ryedale in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Gaultney Wood in Rushton in Northamptonshire, Belvoir and Gildersdale in Warter in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The arguments in each case are far from conclusive, and are outweighed by the evidence by the evidence of a charter of 1172 linking Galclint with the parish of Willerby in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Topographical evidence indicates that Galclint Castle was constructed for the purpose of controlling the communication routes to Hunmanby, and that it may have been a siege castle. Earthworks illustrated on Ordnance Survey 6 inch maps indicate two possible side for the castle. The first is close to the junction of the modern B1249 with the A1039 from Malton to Filey, along a range of high ground extending west-east parallel to the A road. Philologically the word 'clint' may be equated with the rocky promontory, and therefore the location seems appropriate. The only problem is that it is some distance on the boundary of the parish of Wold Newton which incorporates the vill of Forden towards the 'out bounds' of which vill Galclint is stated to been situated. The second possible side is Castle Hill at the junction of the A1039 and the road branching off into Hummanby, on high ground known as 'White Gate Hill'. The difficulty here is that the site lies in the parish of Folkton and is some distance from why might be construed as the 'outer bounds' of Fordon. (Dalton 1994)

A number of sites have been suggested as the location;
•Dugdale suggested that Galclint was a part of the fortification of Lincoln (Raine, p. 132h), although Raine and Edmund King suggest the text contradicts this. However, it should be noted that the fortifications of Lincoln included the castle, the town walls, the West front of the Cathedral and also, possibly, the Bishop's Palace, the Cathedral Close and the castellum de Tornegat (It may be this castle of Thorngate might even refer to a town gate suggesting an additional use of the the term castellum to mean large town gates.)
•Thomas Arnold suggested Gilling-in-Ryedale although there seems to be no evidence to support such a suggestion.
•Charles Clay suggested a site called Gaultney Wood, near Rushton, Northants which has some supportive place name evidence but no actual castle (although the site has been extensively quarried and evidence of a 12th century castle may well have been destroyed).
Belvoir Castle has been suggested by Professor Davis although there seems no reason why this castle should not have been called Belvoir in 1140 and been given such a different name by John of Hexham.
•Edmund King suggests Gildersdale in the parish of Warter, East Riding of Yorkshire, although he admits the weakness in his argument, notably the lack of castle in Gildersdale (by castle the report makes clear this was a building with walls - although these might be either stone or timber - rather than a village or estate centre).
•Dalton suggestions are 1) a site near to and possibly on the high land south of TA014789; 2) Castle Hill, a place name, at TA064792, both on the southern edge of the Vale of Pickering.. There are numerous earthworks in these areas but all seem to be prehistoric burial mounds and dykes. The description 0f climbing walls and taking large amounts of treasure may seem contradictory to Dalton's suggestion this was a siege castle, although mid C12 siege castles may have served mainly as palisaded encampments protecting the besiegers camp, especially the money chest used to pay the soldiers etc.
The actual identification of Galchlin may never be resolved but it is clear that a better understanding of this lost recorded castle will come from an investigation that moves away from the narrow definition of castle as 'a fortified residence of a lord' into the more varied and nuanced usage of the term castellum that medieval writers actually used.
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This record last updated 26/7/2017 8:57:14 am

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