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Birdsedge Castle Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Hill, Denby Common

In the civil parish of Denby Dale.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Kirklees.
1974 county of West Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE20410696
Latitude 53.55893° Longitude -1.69328°

Birdsedge Castle Hill has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The clear remains of defensive banking survive on W. and S.W. side of a roughly oval enclosure ploughed out to N and E and quarried away to S. "Undatable" (WYAAS), though British remains found nearby. Patch suggest use (reuse if orig. IA) as D'day 'vaccaria' or 'cattle camp' of Denby, i.e. a protective stock enclosure. Both 1st OS and Morehouse (KB, P4) plan indicate largish oval feature, now lost, at NW corner of, but slightly separate from, enclosure, just possibly a ringwork. 1st OS also locates the name Castle Hill a little further N. on higher ground N. of Windmill Lane around, SE201072, where the late J Hurst recalled other earthworks now quarried away, an inner bank near highest point and encircling outer bank on lower slope. (Sneyd 1995)

The late prehistoric enclosed settlement on Castle Hill survives well and contributes to the body of knowledge relating to late prehistoric settlement and land use in northern England.
The monument includes a late prehistoric enclosed settlement, situated on Denby Common, on the south side of Windmill Lane, at the south edge of a plateau. The enclosure survives as an upstanding earthwork on the south west and west sides. On the south west side this takes the form of a substantial bank, following the top of the natural scarp. Because of this scarp, the bank is about 0.6m high on its north east side, but has a drop of approximately 4m on its south west side. There are several small quarry holes at the base of this slope, which obscure any evidence for a ditch. The west side of the enclosure is formed by a bank approximately 10m wide and 0.3m high, with an external ditch about 5m wide and up to 0.3m deep. The upstanding remains of the rest of the enclosure have been flattened by ploughing in the past, but the edges of the enclosure are just traceable as a slight break of slope on the north side and a very faint bank on the east side. The south side of the enclosure is marked by the edge of the scarp. During fieldwalking in the 1970s approximately 90 Neolithic flints were found. This suggests that the site may have earlier prehistoric antecedents. (Scheduling Report)

The suggestion of a ringwork seems to be Sneyd's alone. The location is not consistent with a ringwork.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:54

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