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Leconfield Castle

Hob Uid: 79247
Location :
East Riding of Yorkshire
Leconfield
Grid Ref : TA0125043120
Summary : Site of a medieval fortified manor house, surrounded by a moat. The principal seat of the Percy family from the 14th to the later 16th century, it was licenced in 1308. Known to have been ruinous in 1608, it was demolished soon after. All that now remains are the earthworks of the moat, which is dry and overgrown, but well preserved throughout. The moat measures 120m by 140m internally and is up to 4m deep and between 3m and 6m wide. An external bank surrounds the moat. The earthwork remains of ridge and furrow and a pond survive to the east of the moat, but are excluded from the scheduling. Another pond is visible as a cropmark to the west of the moat. The earthwork pond appears to be above the medieval ridge and furrow and is therefore considered post medieval in date. Elements of the moat were mapped as part of the Hull Valley NMP, though much of the site remains under dense tree cover. It is not possible to determine the latest evidence for the moat due to this dense tree cover on the 2011 oblique photography. Scheduled.
More information : TA 0125 4312. Leconfield Castle [GT]. (Site of) [TI]. (1)

The site of the Percy's residence at Leconfield is now marked by a moated enclosure almost square in plan and approx 4.5 acres in extent. Although Henry de Percy received licence to crenellate his manor house in 1308, there are few direct references to it after that date until 1517. An account of 1539 describes it in the manner of a fortified manor house, with outbuildings clustered round a central courtyard, and the whole surrounded by a wet moat. By the end of the 16th C the building was gradually falling into ruin and by 1608 was disused. Soon after this date it was demolished and the materials removed. (2)

Resurveyed at 1:2500. The moat is now dry and overgrown, but is well preserved throughout. Within the enclosed area, (which is under pasture,) are no visible remains apart from a few swellings in the ground suggestive of buried foundations.

A shapeless earthen mound at TA 0131 4307 appears to have no significance, and is possibly the residue from the clearance of the site. (3)

Additional reference. (4)

TA 0126 4311. Moated site of Leconfield Castle. Scheduled RSM No 21172. The large sub-rectangular island measures 140m E-W; its W end is 120m long and its E end 110m long. It is surrounded by a single dry moat with an outer earthen bank. The moat ditch is steep-sided, up to 4m deep and generally between 3 and 6m wide, although in its NE corner and elsewhere it is as wide as 10m. Surrounding the moat on its NE and S sides is an external earthen bank 5m wide. On the W side this has been reduced to 3m by ploughing. On the N and E sides of the moat the bank is 1.5m high; to the S it is 1.75m high; to the W it is only 0.75m high, though still 5m wide. Access to the island was via a causeway crossing the N arm of the moat. Immediately to the E of the moat there are traces of ridge and furrow and a poorly defined fishpond; these are excluded from the Scheduling due to their poor state of preservation.

The site was the principal seat of the Percy family from the 14th century to the later 16th century. Leland describes a large, three-
quarter timbered house within a moat with a brick gatehouse in 1538. Following a survey of 1574 the site was abandoned in favour of Wressle Castle and fell into disuse. It had been completely abandoned by 1608 and was demolished soon after this to provide materials for the new site. The last buildings recorded on the site were there in 1616, but gone by the 18th century. (5)

Listed as a strong house by Cathcart King. (6)

Elements of the medieval moat are visible as earthworks on air photographs, centred at TA 0126 4312. The pond to the east of the moat is noted to be above the medieval ridge and furrow (UID 1552443) and is considered post medieval in date. A second pond is visible as a cropmark the same distance to the west of the moat and is probably contemporary with the other pond. A linear ditch which may abut the south-east corner of the moat is of a different alignment and is probably not associated (UID 1552335). It is not possible to determine the latest evidence for the moat due to dense tree cover on the 2011 oblique photography, though the pond is noted as extant.
(7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" map, Prov Edn
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Original MSS, `Some Yorkshire Estates of the Percies, 1450-1650', 1955, vol 1, p 58-69 (E J Fisher) (MSS held in Harrogate Library)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Field Investigator, RWE, 09-OCT-1962
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Source Number : 4
Source : The moated sites of Yorkshire
Source details : Le Patourel H E J, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, p 114
Page(s) : 114
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Vol(s) : no.5
Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 14/4/93
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Source Number : 6
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) : 533
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Source Number : 7
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR 28227/52 19-OCT-2011
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HU 143
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Humberside)
External Cross Reference Number : MHU3696
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21172
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TA 04 SW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1552443
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1552335
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TA 04 SW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-10-09
End Date : 1962-10-09
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: CHALK LOWLAND AND THE HULL VALLEY NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2011-09-20
End Date : 2012-10-03