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Historic England Research Records

Norton Tower

Hob Uid: 46400
Location :
North Yorkshire
Grid Ref : SD9760057030
Summary : Remains of a watch tower or hunting lodge, built circa 1540 and slighted in 1569. The walls are 1.2 metres thick and stand up to 5 metres high.
More information : (SD 97605703) Norton Tower (NR) (Remains of) (1)

Norton Tower stands on the strongest point of a natural ridge, and is flanked on the east side by a slight bank and ditch (see plan). The Tower is ascribed to Richard Norton circa 1540, and was probably erected to house watchers following a dispute with Clifford of Skipton over hunting rights in Rylstone. The bank and ditch is the obstructive part of a probable palisaded enclosure, later walled, which covered the summit of the ridge, and was primarily designed for herding deer.

The Tower is 9.5m by 7.5m with walls 1.2m thick standing to a maximum height of 5.0m, see photograph. Villy's deer enclosure is best preserved for some 150m between 'C' and 'N', where the footings of a substantial wall are set on top of a bank 3.5m overall, with a shallow external ditch of the same width. The remainder of the east side as far as 'E' is represented by a modern wall with a stream on the outside. Between 'E' and 'F' water action has eroded the bank and ditch into a ragged and ill-defined feature. Solid wall footings continue across the north side passing the Tower, but these deteriorate, and all the stones of the west side have been grubbed out leaving the wall traceable as a slight robber trench. The small ditched feature at 'N' also appears to be the result of water action rather than an original construction. (2)

Remains of tower. Probably C16 for Richard Norton. Coursed gritstone. A square structure, approximately 10 metres x 15 metres, the corners standing approximately 3 metres high but the walls slighted. Original entrance probably on the south side, remains of a fireplace and stone newel stair on east side, no windows survive. The ruin stands among extensive earthworks and is only one part of an important archaeological site which includes rabbit warrens (pillow mounds) and probably prehistoric field clearance cairns to the south. The building was a hunting lodge of the Nortons of Rylstone and Norton Conyers and was slighted after the family's involvement in the Rising of the North, 1569. (3)

Listed by Cathcart King. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1956
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Source Number : 2
Source details : Brad Ant NS 6 1921 179-89 plan illusts (F Villy)
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Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District of Craven, 06-Oct-1969
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Source Number : 4
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) : 524
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Slighted 1569
Monument End Date : 1569
Monument Start Date : 1569
Monument Type : Watch Tower, Pele Tower, Hunting Lodge
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 324823
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 95 NE 7
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTON TOWER, BARDEN FELL
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31