Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Swan Hill motte

A Scheduled Monument in Bilton, East Riding of Yorkshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 53.7766 / 53°46'35"N

Longitude: -0.2462 / 0°14'46"W

OS Eastings: 515670.2114

OS Northings: 432566.562222

OS Grid: TA156325

Mapcode National: GBR VSQR.HY

Mapcode Global: WHHGR.6B0M

Entry Name: Swan Hill motte

Scheduled Date: 20 March 1967

Last Amended: 4 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007849

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21207

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bilton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bilton St Peter

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument is the Swan Hill motte. It includes a raised earthen motte
enclosed by a single dry moat.
The motte is 1.5m high, and 20m in diameter at its base. It has a flattened
summit 13m in diameter. The summit of the mound is uneven and shows some
signs of disturbance.
The moat which encloses the motte is 15m wide and 2m deep, with a flat bottom
3m wide.
Limited excavations were undertaken in the 1940's on the summit of the motte
by the owner.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Motte castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the
Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte,
surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of
examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey,
adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bai1ey castles acted as
garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in
many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal
administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte castles
generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality
and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early
post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles
and motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from
most regions. Some 100-150 examples do not have baileys and are classified as
motte castles. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest
monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and
the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a
short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from
the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other
types of castle.

The Swan Hill motte survives well. Evidence of the structures which
originally stood on the motte will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 110
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 50

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.