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Historic England Research Records

Studforth Hill

Hob Uid: 55199
Location :
North Yorkshire
Harrogate
Boroughbridge
Grid Ref : SE4065065960
Summary : The earthwork remains of a ploughed out ring earthwork or ring motte on Studforth Hill. Possibly the site of Vetus Burgus of the Pipe Rolls of 1205-6. A castle is documented at Aldborough in 1158-75, when it was in royal hands, and from 1175-1205 when it was in baronial hands, at which time it was called Stuteville. It was confiscated by the Crown in 1205. The crescent shaped remains of Studforth Hill and a scarp slope that marks the northern end of the feature known as the Stadium are both visible as earthworks on historic and recent air photos and on lidar-derived images.
More information : [SE 4065 6596] Studforth Hill [G.T.]
[SE 4065 6603] Stadium [G.S.] (1)

Outside the south east corner of Isurium is a raised platform or earthwork 70 yds. long and 10 yds. wide, called the Stadium. It is thought to have been the place for the celebration of games and races (2). In the same vicinity is a bowl-shaped depression interpreted by Collingwood as an amphitheatre but shown on this plan as an embanked enclosure (3). A partial section of its northern 'bank' in 1935 showed that it was apparently natural (4). On the south side of the Stadium is Studforth Hill which in Leland's time resembled a castle. Although it has since been ploughed over, it still has traces of a bailey and is listed as a motte and bailey (5). (2-5)

In its present form, Studforth Hill has no resemblance to a normal castle mound or motte. The remains, however, when associated with the Stadium and the "bowl-shaped depression", indicate a former enclosure of some strength which seems to amount to a type of ring motte or ring earthwork. It is probable that part of the scarp forming the raised platform of the Stadium is, in fact, the north end of an oval shaped ring work, and that Studforth Hill is the southern end. The bowl-shaped depression is between these banks and would seem to be the remains of the cratered interior after ploughing had levelled the east and west sides. This ploughing has resulted in the lateral scarping and the general raising of the ground level giving a platform effect. There are no traces of a separate bailey or of any ditch.
The remains have been resurveyed at 1/2500. (6)

Studforth Hill is a ploughed-out motte, probably the Vetus Burgus of the Pipe Rolls 1205-6 (and Rot.Chart 44). (7)

A castle is documented at Aldborough in 1158-75, when it was in royal hands, and from 1175-1205 when it was in baronial hands, at which time it was called Stuteville. It was confiscated by the Crown in 1205. (8)

The crescent shaped remains of Studforth Hill and a scarp slope that marks the northern end of the feature known as the Stadium are both visible as earthworks on historic and recent air photos and on lidar-derived images. at SE4065 6586. The mound or hill measures approximately 61m across. It overlooks to the north an area labelled as the Stadium on the Ordnance Survey map of 1893. The scarp slope appears to demarcate the northern and eastern side of the Stadium. The interior contains medieval ridge and furrow (see UID 1537406). (9-12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1938
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Lady lawson-Tancred 1948 History & Antsiquities of Aldborough & Boroughbridge p18
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Source Number : 11
Source : Light detection and ranging (lidar) airborne survey
Source details : LIDAR SE4064 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY D0034412 8-APR-2001
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Source Number : 12
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey Six Inch to One Mile 1893 Yorkshire Sheet 138
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Source Number : 3
Source : The archaeology of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 104-6
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Vol(s) : 1930
Source Number : 4
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 5
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Vol(s) : 40 - 1959
Source Number : 5
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 45
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Vol(s) : 1912
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 EC Waight/27-JUN-1963/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigation
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Source Number : 7
Source : Norman Castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 88
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Vol(s) : 1968
Source Number : 8
Source : Castles, conquest and charters : collected papers
Source details :
Page(s) : 102
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Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR MAL/76075 195 03-DEC-1976
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Source Number : 10
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 24-MAY-2009 ACCESSED 12-APR-2011
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte, Ringwork
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date : Uncertain
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Mound, Scarp
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY18543
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 46 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1537406
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 46 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-06-27
End Date : 1963-06-27