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Record Details

HER Number:00392/01
Type of record:Monument
Name:Castle Hills, Motte and Bailey Castle, Langthwaite


A medieval motte and Bailey Castle at Langthwaite, Adwick le Street

Grid Reference:SE 551 067
Map Sheet:SE50NE
Parish:ADWICK LE STREET/BENTLEY, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds:

  • None
  • Protected Status:

    • Scheduled Monument () 1013654: Castle Hills, Motte and Bailey, Langthwaite

    Full Description

    <1> The monument comprises a 4m - 5m high motte with a kidney-shaped inner bailey to the north and a sub-rectangular outer bailey to the east. The inner bailey is c. 30m across and the outer bailey c. 70m x 40m. On the west side, between the motte and inner bailey, a 2m high oval mound forms the end of the rampart circling the motte to the south west and has been interpreted as a defended approach to the monument.
    The complexity of the earthworks suggest it was a monument of some importance. Certainly it commanded the manor of Langthwaite (later Hangthwaite), one of six held by Nigel Fossard in 1086 from the Count of Mortain. In the later Middle Ages it was superseded by Radcliffe Moat c.500m to the east.

    <2> Here was held a small manor held by the Fossards, the Norman lords of the soke of Doncaster. Marshy land presumably protected this low-lying site, and the north-western side was strengthened by a small annexe [further information]

    <3> "This was one of Nigel Fozzard's castles on lands held from Robert of Mortain (died 1091).

    <4> In the Domesday book Langthwaite is mentioned as one of the six small manors held by Nigel Fossard of the court of Mortain, who probably constructed the castle. The de Langthwaites seem to have become an important family, who name appears frequently in northern documents. In the later medieval period the manor seems to have been moved 300m to the east, to Radcliffe Moat [PIN [. Also within the area was the village of Hangthwaite, or Langthwaite, assessed in 1279 - perhaps the slight earthworks east of the motte and bailey are the remains of this ("in the fields which adjoins the earthworks on the eastern side are some slight but extensive irregularities in the soil. The ground is uneven, and has evidently been much interfered with, as if a village had stood on the site" ) A silver penny of Edward III was found in fields south of Radcliffe Moat (SE 555068)

    <5> The circumference of the round mound, measured in the bottom of the ditch, is about 450 feet. The sides slope gently, and the truncated top, which is nearly flat, is 28 feet in diameter. The extreme of the surrounding ditch is forty feet at maximum. On the west side the bank which surrounds the Castle Yard is pierced by a "gatestead" or entrance. There is a similar "gatestead" on the east side. Local belief suggests the possibility that a tower once stood at the top of the large round mound.

    <6> The motte is very much worn down, but the plan of the earthwork is well preserved. The bailey is bean shaped, covering an area of approximately half an acre. There are traces of an outer bailey to the east, the interior of which shows signs of foundations.

    <7>as <3> In good condition.
    References: V.C.H. Yorkshire 2 1912 p.32 plan (E S Armitage), Yorkshire's Ruined Castle 1938 pp.27, 128 (Illingworth), 'South Yorkshire' J Hunter Vol. II 490.

    <1> English Heritage, See Record, Scheduling Record, 13211 (Scheduling record). SSY162.

    <2> Hey, D., 1979, The Making of South Yorkshire., p44 (Bibliographic reference). SSY137.

    <3> South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, c1974-c2003, SMR Card, SE50NE (Unpublished document). SSY213.

    <5> S. O. Addy, 1914-1918, 'Some Defensive Earthworks in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield', pp.361-2 (Article in monograph). SSY295.

    <6> Yorkshire Archaeological Society, ?, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal (General) [needs checking and adding to specific volumes], Vol 2 pp.31-32 (Serial). SSY154.

    <7> South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, c1974-c2003, SMR Card (Unpublished document). SSY213.

    Sources and further reading

    <1>SSY162 - Scheduling record: English Heritage. See Record. Scheduling Record. 13211.
    <2>SSY137 - Bibliographic reference: Hey, D.. 1979. The Making of South Yorkshire.. Single volume. p44.
    <3>SSY213 - Unpublished document: South Yorkshire Archaeology Service. c1974-c2003. SMR Card. Indexed according to PIN Number. SE50NE.
    <5>SSY295 - Article in monograph: S. O. Addy. 1914-1918. 'Some Defensive Earthworks in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield'. pp.361-2.
    <6>SSY154 - Serial: Yorkshire Archaeological Society. ?. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal (General) [needs checking and adding to specific volumes]. Vol 2 pp.31-32.
    <7>SSY213 - Unpublished document: South Yorkshire Archaeology Service. c1974-c2003. SMR Card. Indexed according to PIN Number.

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