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HER Number:2479
Type of record:Monument


Owston Motte and Bailey Castle, also known as Kinnaird Castle. Scheduled Monument.

Grid Reference:SE 805 003
Map Sheet:SE80SW
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (MED:C11,C12, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1199 AD)

Protected Status - None

Associated Finds - None

Associated Events

  • Watching Brief at The Willows, Church Street, Owston Ferry, North Lincolnshire, 1995 (Ref: OFC 95)
  • Aerial photographic sortie
  • Watching brief at St. Martin's Churchyard, Owston Ferry, North Lincolnshire, 2003 (Ref: OMS 05)
  • Aerial photographic sortie

Full description

Motte and bailey, "Kinaird Castle", refortified by Roger de Mowbray during revolt against Henry II, 1173-74. Taken by Geoffrey, bishop elect of Lincoln in 1174, the castle was destroyed and not rebuilt. St. Martin's Church and churchyard occupy one of the two baileys on the N side. Motte and S bailey ditches survive, at present (1975) much overgrown and with rubbish in ditches. Scheduled. (Stonehouse 1839, 223-5, plan; CUAC obl. 1952; OS 25in. revised survey 1964; DOE AM List). [1]

In May 1995, an archaeological watching brief was undertaken by Humberside Archaeology Unit during the construction of a swimming pool extension at The Willows, Church Street. This lies within the scheduled area of the motte and bailey. Five phases of activity were identified within the footprint of the extension.

Phase 1 was undated, but likely to be natural water channels cutting into alluvial clays.

Phase 2 was dated to c. 1070-95 AD. A series of three post pits were recorded; one measured c.0.18m wide and 0.37m deep, with indications of a rotted vertical timber in situ. The other pits were wider, probably due to the timbers being dug out. A fourth pit to the west may also have held a timber. This group of posts was interpreted as a palisade, perhaps associated with a walkway or a fighting platform.

Phase 3, possibly 1173-4AD. After the partial removal of the palisade, the rampart was re-formed with compacted red clays, possibly removed from a shallow gully immediately behind it to the west.

Phase 4 was undated, and appeared to indicate the casual dumping of ash and clay refuse into a relict hollow. Alternatively, it may have been deliberate surfacing of an occupied area. A single cut feature may mark the position of a light structure limiting these deposits.

Phase 5 was also undated. Extensive dumps of mixed clay contained pottery dating to the late 10th - 13th century. These dumps were overlain by topsoil.

One unphased feature was recorded in the east face of the excavation. Possibly a ditch, c. 1.5m wide, the dark fill contained a single sherd of Roman greyware of probable 2nd century date, although this may have been residual.

The watching brief report concluded that closely dateable deposits of the 11th-12th centuries survive in the vicinity. The position of the palisade confirmed the idea that Church Street follows the northern course of the outer moat, which was filled in no earlier than the late 12th century. [2, 3]

Aerial photographs. [4 -6]

Ground slide - Owston Castle from the graveyard, c 1990. [7]

English Heritage Monuments at Risk report. [8]

Scheduled monument consent relating to erection of a post & rail fence on the south side of Church Path. [9]

Aerial photographs, 1974 and 1988. [10 - 13]

The Scheduled Monument was included on the Heritage at Risk register 2015. [14]

A Davidson, 1987, Untitled Source (CORRESPONDENCE). SLS5148.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2005, Scheduled monument consent (CORRESPONDENCE). SLS5045.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2007, Scheduled monument consent (CORRESPONDENCE). SLS5044.

<1> Loughlin, N and Miller, KR, 1979, A Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, 156 (BOOK). SLS523.

<2> Humberside Archaeological Unit, 1995, HAU Excavation Index (INDEX). SLS2945.

<3> Foreman, M., 1995, An Archaeological Watching Brief at The Willows, Church Street, Owston Ferry, 2 - 4, Figs 1-5 (REPORT - INTERIM, RESEARCH, SPECIALIST, ETC). SLS2457.

<4> CUAC, 1952, Untitled Source (AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH). SLS1018.

<5> RCHME, 1996, Untitled Source (AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH). SLS2770.

<6> CUAC, 1952, Untitled Source (AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH). SLS1019.


<8> English Heritage, 2009, Monuments at Risk data, 30124 (ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS). SLS3978.

<9> English Heritage, 2011, Scheduled Monument Consent S00006482, S00006482 (CORRESPONDENCE). SLS4136.

<10> K Leahy, 1988, Untitled Source (AP SLIDE). SLS5674.

<11> K Leahy, 1988, Untitled Source (AP SLIDE). SLS5725.

<12> MD Felcey, 1974, Untitled Source (AP SLIDE). SLS5785.

<13> MD Felcey, 1974, Untitled Source (AP SLIDE). SLS5845.

<14> Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk 2015 - Yorkshire, 27 (REPORT - INTERIM, RESEARCH, SPECIALIST, ETC). SLS7354.

Sources and further reading

---CORRESPONDENCE: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2007. Scheduled monument consent.
---CORRESPONDENCE: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2005. Scheduled monument consent.
---CORRESPONDENCE: A Davidson. 1987. 20 May 1987.
<1>BOOK: Loughlin, N and Miller, KR. 1979. A Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside. A4 Bound. 156.
<2>INDEX: Humberside Archaeological Unit. 1995. HAU Excavation Index.
<3>REPORT - INTERIM, RESEARCH, SPECIALIST, ETC: Foreman, M.. 1995. An Archaeological Watching Brief at The Willows, Church Street, Owston Ferry. June 1995. A4, stapled. 2 - 4, Figs 1-5.
<4>AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH: CUAC. 1952. JG 84. 5 July 1952. SE80900020.
<5>AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH: RCHME. 1996. SE8000/8. 1 October 1996. SE807 002.
<6>AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH: CUAC. 1952. JG 85. 5 July 1952. SE80900020.
<8>ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS: English Heritage. 2009. Monuments at Risk data. A4 paper. 30124.
<9>CORRESPONDENCE: English Heritage. 2011. Scheduled Monument Consent S00006482. 11th January 2011. S00006482.
<10>AP SLIDE: K Leahy. 1988. 1 5 06 88. June 1988. SE806 002.
<11>AP SLIDE: K Leahy. 1988. 1 4 06 88. SE806 002.
<12>AP SLIDE: MD Felcey. 1974. 1-10. 01/09/1974. SE804 002.
<13>AP SLIDE: MD Felcey. 1974. 2-06. 01/09/1974. SE805 002.
<14>REPORT - INTERIM, RESEARCH, SPECIALIST, ETC: Historic England. 2015. Heritage at Risk 2015 - Yorkshire. October 2015. Pdf document. 27.

Related records

21247Related to: 'CASTLE' OF THE MOWBRAYS, HAXEY ? (Monument)