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Historic England Research Records

Pickering Castle

Hob Uid: 60349
Location :
North Yorkshire
Ryedale
Pickering
Grid Ref : SE7987084520
Summary : The remains of an 11th century motte and bailey castle and a 13th century shell keep castle. The former was built by William the Conqueror either during or shortly after the 'harrying of the north' in 1069-70. It consisted of an earth motte crowned by a timber palisade, flanked on the north-west side by a crescent-shaped inner bailey and, on the south-east side, by a contemporary or slightly later outer bailey. The motte is circa 20 metres high and has a base diameter of circa 60 metres. It is not yet clear whether this is the original 11th century motte or a later medieval reconstruction. In the latter case, the earlier motte will have been preserved inside the later. The reconstruction of the castle in stone largely took place between 1180 and 1236. There were three main phases of work at this time, the earliest involving the late 12th century replacement of the inner bailey palisade with a curtain wall and the construction of the first shell keep. In its present form the shell keep dates to the early 13th century but the foundations of the earlier keep will survive underneath. The remains of the early curtain wall still round the inner bailey. The earliest buildings so far identified are the early or mid-12th century Old Hall, whose surviving foundations show it to be half-timbered, and the Coleman Tower which guarded the entry across the inner bailey and was also used as a prison. The complete, but largely altered chantry chapel dates from circa 1227 whilst to the west of this is the early 14th century New Hall. The last major programme of building dates to 1324-26 when Edward II ordered extensive works to be carried out which included replacing the whole of the timber palisade round the outer bailey with a stone wall. The outer curtain included three projecting towers, a gatehouse and a postern gate. The three towers, named from north-east to south-west, Rosamund's Tower, Diate Hill Tower and Milk Tower, the latter built as a prison. Scheduled.
More information : [SE 79878452] Pickering Castle [GT]
Keep [GT] Mill tower [GT] (1)

Pickering Castle consists of 2 baileys with a large shell keep, now very fragmentary, standing on a high mound between them; the inner bailey and the keep date from the 12th cent, and the outer bailey with its toweres, was added in the first part of the 14th century. Rosamund's tower, built c.1330, is a square building of 3 storeys, projecting outside the wall. (2)

See Guide-book for detailed description. (3)

Published earthworks (25") revised. (4)

Castle Scheduled as Ancient Monument. Considerable remains of late 11th or early 12th century, with Keep standing and fine Moat. Curtain walls and towers 14th C. (5)

Pickering Castle Pickering SE 800845-Scheduled. (6)

SE 798 845. Pickering Castle: 11th century motte and bailey castle and 13th century shell keep castle. Scheduled RSM No. NY/13301. (7)

Additional reference. (8)

Listed by Cathcart King. (9)

Additional reference. (10)

One of the lesser roayal castles in the north of England, the castle controlled the route from Helmsley to Scarborough. Founded in the late 11th or early 12th centuries as a motte with irregular bailey, the first major improvements were not undertaken until the early 13th century. Edward II visited the castle in 132 and ordered that the custodian render the walls of the keep and bailey, repair the prison, kitchen and other buildings, enlarge the moat, replace the timber palisade round the outer ward or `barbican' by a stone wall which was to include a postern next to the king's tower, ie the keep, and a gatehouse with a drawbridge. In 1326 it was granted to Henry of Lancaster. By the reign of Henry VIII Pickering no longer had any military value. The 14th century Moot Hall was still in uses as the court house, and it was maintained as such throughout the 16th century. However, a survey of the Moot Hall in 1619-21 showed it to be greatly decayed, and in 1651 it had fallen to the ground, the chapel being used to house the court sessions in its place. All of the buildings were sold in 1652, and the rest of the history of the castle is as a ruin. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" Prov.Edn.1926.50
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Source Number : 2
Source : The castles of Great Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 203
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Plates :
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Source Number : 11
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 779-81
Figs. :
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Source Number : 12
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 3 : 1485-1660 (part 1)
Source details :
Page(s) : 296-7
Figs. :
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ministry of Works. 1967. Pickering Castle - Guide
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 14-NOV-67
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Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Pickering Rural District, DEC 1948
Page(s) : 1
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 64
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 10-May-94
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 8
Source : Pickering Castle, Yorkshire [guide]
Source details :
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Source Number : 9
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) : 522
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83
Source Number : 10
Source : Ordnance Survey guide to castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 196
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : During or shortly after 1069-70
Monument End Date : 1080
Monument Start Date : 1069
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early to mid C12
Monument End Date : 1166
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Interval Tower, Prison, Great Hall, Timber Framed Building, Castle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C12 (from 1180)
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1180
Monument Type : Shell Keep, Curtain Wall, Castle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early C13
Monument End Date : 1232
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Shell Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : circa 1227
Monument End Date : 1237
Monument Start Date : 1217
Monument Type : Chantry Chapel
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early C14
Monument End Date : 1332
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Great Hall, Moot Hall
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1324 to 1326
Monument End Date : 1326
Monument Start Date : 1324
Monument Type : Curtain Wall, Flanking Tower, Gatehouse, Postern, Prison, Castle
Evidence : Structure, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Extant 1540-1651
Monument End Date : 1651
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Court House, Chapel
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Disused from 1652
Monument End Date : 1652
Monument Start Date : 1652
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 378
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13301
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 95528
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 244
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 78 SE 25
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, SURVEY BY SYDNEY DECIMUS KITSON
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : Primary, PICKERING CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1902-01-01
End Date : 1902-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PICKERING CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 78 SE 25
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-11-14
End Date : 1967-11-14