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Historic England Research Records

Castle Hill

Hob Uid: 80633
Location :
East Riding of Yorkshire
Grid Ref : TA1255034350
Summary : Remains of probable 12th century motte-and-bailey castle surviving as an earthwork. Last documented 1363. Foundations of a probable 17th century house uncovered in 1918.
More information : TA 1255 3435. Castle Hill, Swine.

A nearly oval hillock rising out of marshland, additionally defended by its own ditch and outer bank; much mutilated. There was undoubtedly a castle at Swine, said to have been built by Sir John Saher in the midst of the carr, or swamp, before 1200. In 1353, John de Sutton was fined for crenellating a castle there. (1)

A practice military trench was dug right across the mound (a glacial hill much disturbed by gravel workings) c.1918, and the remains of a small Elizabethan building, 14th-15th century pottery and animal bones (remains of the table) were found. (2)

A severely mutilated motte and bailey. Re-surveyed at 25". (3)

TA 1254 3434. Swine Castle Hill. Scheduled RSM No 21181. The monument is the remains of a medieval motte and comprises a steep-sided oval mound enclosed by an earthen bank, a dry moat and a counterscarp bank of up-cast earth. The mound is 150m in length NE-SW and up to 100m in breadth. At its highest point in the centre of the mound it is 5m high. It is immedately enclosed around its base by an earthen bank 0.5m high and 5m wide. The moat is up to 10m wide and 1m deep. The surrounding counterscarp bank is 1m high and 5m wide. The SW end of the monument has been truncated by the (now disused) railway line. In 1918 a trench was dug across the site by soldiers from a nearby training camp, supervised by Tom Shepherd, Curator of Hull Museum. This 110m long trench was orientated NW-SE and traversed the hill from its NE end. It survives as a silted feature 2m deep and 3m wide. The excavation recovered quantities of medieval pottery and the corner of a brick building which Shepherd considered to be of Elizabethan date. A hall is referred to at the site in a record of 1668 and the remains may be of the 'Mansion House' which gave the site its 18th-century name. The monument is thought to be the castle of Branceholme built by Sir John Saher before 1200. In 1353 John de Sutton was fined for crenallating a castle at the site. (4)

Castle Hill was re-surveyed at 1:2500 scale by English Heritage field investigators in May 1999 as part of the National SAMs Survey Pilot Project.

The site comprises the earthwork remains of a motte-and-bailey castle built upon an oval glacial mound. The sides of the mound have been artificially scarped by the creation of a broad ditch or moat encircling the site, the spoil from which has been partly used to augment the mound. The south-western side of the moat has been removed by the canalised Holderness drain (not the railway line as stated by authority 4, which in fact runs past the south-eastern side of the site and does not impinge upon the earthworks). The upcast from the drain has blanketed a 10m wide strip of land beside the drain obscuring any earthworks.

The north-eastern half of Castle Hill is occupied by the motte, the south-western half by the bailey. The interior of the latter has been largely destroyed by gravel quarrying, to a depth of about 3.5m, but the difference in height between the summit of the motte and the bailey is still evident and is 1.8m. No traces of any buildings are visible although it is possible that a broad ditch-like feature situated in the centre of the south-eastern side of the mound, 17m long and up to 8m wide, may be the remains of Mr Shepherd's excavation trench. Aerial photographs (5) of the monument taken in 1997 show most of the features described above.

A number of later field boundaries, which take the form of a ditch and bank surmounted by a hedge, enclose the earthworks, broadly following the crest of the motte and the perimeter of the moat. No earthworks are visible in the surrounding pasture field whose smoothed appearance indicates that this area has been ploughed. The site is approached from the south-west, along Castlehill Road. The modern settlement at Castle Hill, the farm which is some 110m to the north of the motte, sits upon one end of a low ridge which also forms a causeway between castle and farm. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 23
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 57-8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 23, 1920
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : R Lewis/30-SEP-1964/OS Archaeology Division
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Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 17/11/94
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR TA 1234/12-15 (12974/27-30) 06-MAR-1997
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Amy Lax/21-May-1999/RCHME: National SAMs Survey Pilot Project
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant 1200-1363
Monument End Date : 1363
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Building
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HU 148
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21181
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TA 13 SW 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TA 13 SW 3
Start Date : 1964-09-30
End Date : 1964-09-30
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-06-01
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE HILL FARM, WAWNE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31