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Historic England Research Records

Ravensworth Castle

Hob Uid: 21560
Location :
North Yorkshire
Richmondshire
Ravensworth
Grid Ref : NZ1420007600
Summary : Remains of an elaborate, stone-built, fortified manor house or quadrangular castle of the late 14th century, occupying the site of an earlier manor house. It has been extensively robbed but the surviving masonry, especially the gate tower, is well preserved; the earthworks are also well preserved.
More information : (Centred NZ 142076) Ravensworth Castle (NR)
(Remains of) (NAT) Belfry (NR) Gateway (NR)
Earthworks (NAT) (1)

Ravensworth Castle, originally a rectangular walled and moated enclosure, was the stronghold of the Fitz-Hughs. In 1201, it was visited by King John, and in 1467 a chapel dedicated to St John the Apostle, was founded as a chantry. The ruins comprise the remains of a 14th century gatehouse, two towers, curtain walling, and the N and E sides of the moat. The castle was largely demolished by 1616. Grade I. (2-4)

The earthworks are supposed to have supplied water to the moat. (5) Published survey (25") revised. The Gatehouse tower is still of substantial proportions, (see GPs from NE), but the Belfry is reduced almost to ground level. Only two fragments of the curtain wall survive in the W and SE. Internally a rectilinear range of buildings can be traced, in part as wall fragments, and part as turf-covered foundations. Elsewhere, irregular shaped mounds and fragments of collapsed walling, now all turf-covered, indicate other buildings too indefinite to survey. Access to the gate was by means of a causeway from the NW.

The moat is extant all round the castle though it is now dry, but the counterscarp bank extends along the south-east sides only.Outside the moat to the NE are the remains of a probable feeder channel and four fishponds. The area extending south and west from the base of the mound is now marsh, and two sections of a wide flat-bottomed ditch (published 'earthworks') on these sides probably represent the remains of an outer drainage moat. (6)

Review of the castle's history and description of the earthworks and extant structures. (7)

NZ 1412 0758. Ravensworth motte and bailey castle, water defence features, park pale and shrunken medieval village. Scheduled RSM No 26937. (8)

Surveyed by the Newcastle office of the RCHME, summer 1997. The castle is essentially an elaborate fortified manor house set within an ornamental landscape, including extensive water-features, of the late 14th century. It occupies a natural mound in a marshy hollow, which had previously been re-modelled in an earlier period; only earthworks survive from this early phase. There is no evidence to suggest that this earlier structure took the form of a motte-and-bailey, as suggested by Authority 8; it was probably also a manor house. There are traces of a complex water management system. The Castle is intimately associated with the deer park (NZ 10 NW 6). A full description is included in the survey archive. (9)

Listed by Cathcart King. (10)

There are 2 gunports, probably of 15th century date. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" map 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Yorkshire's ruined castles : an account of their history, asssociations and architecture with a chapter on the fortified houses of the county
Source details :
Page(s) : 130
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Fort : the international journal of fortification and military architecture
Source details :
Page(s) : 83
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4, 1977
Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York, North Riding, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 88-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Richmond Rural District, 1967
Page(s) : 42
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book reference
Source details : ONB 1912 67 (Rev Lewis A Drakeford-Lewis)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ISSainsbury/22-OCT-1974/OS Archaeol Division Field Investigation
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 81-100
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51 - 1979
Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 09-Aug-95
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : CA Lofthouse/30-JUL-1997/RCHME: Ravensworth Castle Survey
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 523
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1983

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1367
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle, Gate Tower, Fortified Manor House, Stable, Curtain Wall, Moat, Fishpond
Evidence : Ruined Building, Structure, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Licensed 1391
Monument End Date : 1391
Monument Start Date : 1391
Monument Type : Hunting Park, Park Wall
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Loopholed Wall
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded 1467
Monument End Date : 1467
Monument Start Date : 1467
Monument Type : Chapel, Bell Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Largely demolished 1616
Monument End Date : 1616
Monument Start Date : 1616
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle, Fortified Manor House
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 190
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26937
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 322820
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 10 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 21575
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 21596
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 10 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-10-22
End Date : 1974-10-22
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: RAVENSWORTH CASTLE SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-05-19
End Date : 1998-01-19
Associated Activities : Primary, RAVENSWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RAVENSWORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31