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Maryport Castle Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Canonby; Mote Hill

In the civil parish of Maryport.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY03393626
Latitude 54.71215° Longitude -3.50100°

Maryport Castle Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Despite the construction of the gun emplacement on its summit, Castle Hill motte and its surrounding defensive ditch survives reasonably well and remains a good example of this class of monument. The remains of the gun emplacement are a rare survival of the artillery defences which were employed at strategic points along the Cumbrian coast, and will add greatly to any further study of the World War II defences in this area.
The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Castle Hill motte, a 12th century medieval castle, together with the foundations of a World War II gun emplacement located on the summit of the motte. The motte is strategically situated at the end of a ridge overlooking a horseshoe bend in the River Ellen close to the river's mouth, and overlooks the point where an earlier Roman road crossed the river. The motte is surrounded by a ditch on all sides except the west where defence is afforded by the steeply sloping hillside. On the summit of the motte there are the concrete foundations of a World War II gun emplacement which guarded the approaches to Maryport harbour. (Scheduling Report)

The castle is sometimes called a ringwork. There is no separate bailey described but the loop of the river Ellen cut off by the mound would be a good sized bailey although nothing archaeological is obvious on the air photo.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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