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Hampole Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Hampole.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Doncaster.
1974 county of South Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE51171040
Latitude 53.58770° Longitude -1.22846°

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

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


An extremely slight elongated mound much reduced and spread by cultivation. A superficial rise is apparent towards the eastern end of its axis with a level area on the west. The profile is suggestive of the remains of a small motte and bailey but no definite conclusions can be reached from its present state. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments F1 RL 11-SEP-64)

Aerial photograph evidence shows a rectangular moat. Could this be a moated manor site rather than a motte? May be a small moat and bailey, much damaged by cultivation. (South Yorkshire SMR)

A slight swelling in field o'looking Hampole Dike from N., ENE Hampole village, indicates site of ploughed-out De Busli motte. SW Priory Farm, just E track of removed N-S rail line and can be well seen from Wakefield-Doncaster rail line running S. of Dike. Castle Hill 1841 OS. Shown early 10K OS as well-defined oval mound, long axis NW/SW. Site, on slightly elevated ground, is noted by Mannington as producing "a scatter of limestone... in the field" which could indicate associated stone structure or defenses. (Sneyd 1995)

Recorded by David Cathcart King as 'possible' meaning, in his terms, doubtful.
Hampole was small Domesday manor.
Recorded as an antiquity on the 1850's OS map but with no suggestion of form or existence of earthworks. The landscape has been effected by building of railway lines (one now disused). The apparent lack of earthworks before 1850 and before the introduction of mechanical ploughing suggest the site was not ever a substantial earthwork. However the site is only 1km from the A1 and it is possible, if this was a hill based on glacial gravel, that it may have been quarried for road repairs. The site is about 500 west of Hampole with no obvious route way connection to the hamlet. A house of Cistercian nuns was founded c.1150 by William de Clairfait and Avicia his wife at Hampole (SE506103) (see South Yorks SMR 00413/01). If Castle Hill was the site of a high status residence then possibly it was a new build of the mid C12 with the original manorial centre being the base for the Cistercian house. The existence of a motte and bailey seems unlikely but the very damaged site is scheduled as such. Excavation here could hardly caused more damage. Certainly geophysical survey may give a suggestion of the existence and form of ditches.
The site does show up quite well on Lidar and could be a 'ringmotte' (in the sense of a ringwork with a motte overlying part of the embankment i.e. not surrounded by its own ditch) or a moated site with a collapsed building in one corner.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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