Ancient Monuments

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Manor Garth Hill ringwork

A Scheduled Monument in Kippax, Leeds

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Latitude: 53.7683 / 53°46'5"N

Longitude: -1.3696 / 1°22'10"W

OS Eastings: 441649.195149

OS Northings: 430398.379808

OS Grid: SE416303

Mapcode National: GBR LSWV.8X

Mapcode Global: WHDBS.XKZ0

Entry Name: Manor Garth Hill ringwork

Scheduled Date: 14 October 1954

Last Amended: 21 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009357

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13291

County: Leeds

Civil Parish: Kippax

Built-Up Area: Kippax

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kippax

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


Manor Garth Hill is situated on a south facing spur above the village of
Kippax. The monument includes the remains of a ringwork and part of the
surrounding ditch.
On its east side, beneath the Church of St Mary and its churchyard, is the
bailey which was formerly attached to the ringwork and would have contained
ancillary buildings such as stables and accommodation for servants and
men-at-arms. This, however, is not included in the scheduling as both the
church and churchyard are in current ecclesiastical use.
The ringwork survives as a roughly circular enclosure with an interior
diameter of c.25m and an earthwork bank standing to a maximum height c.5m. A
platform within the interior has been interpreted as the site of a building
known to have existed in the seventeenth century whilst, on the south-east
side, is a fragment of walling of a similar date. To the west, partially
overlain by the church hall, are the remains of a defensive hornwork while,
surrounding the monument, are the buried remains of its ditch. The bank will
contain the remains of the medieval timber palisade while the remains of
contemporary timber buildings will survive in the interior along with the
stone foundations of the post-medieval structures. Kippax was an important
centre in the late Anglo-Saxon period and retained this status after the
Norman Conquest, becoming an early administrative centre of the honour of
Pontefract until succeeded in this role by Barwick in Elmet. The ringwork is
believed to date to the early post-Conquest period but had been largely
superseded by the thirteenth century, for which reason its wooden structures
were never rebuilt in stone. Features which are excluded from the scheduling
are the church hall, the surface of the path surrounding it and the telegraph
poles on the west side of the ditch. The ground beneath these features is,
however, included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Ringworks are medieval fortifications built and occupied from the late
Anglo-Saxon period to the later 12th century. They comprised a small defended
area containing buildings which was surrounded or partly surrounded by a
substantial ditch and a bank surmounted by a timber palisade or, rarely, a
stone wall. Occasionally a more lightly defended embanked enclosure, the
bailey, adjoined the ringwork. Ringworks acted as strongholds for military
operations and in some cases as defended aristocratic or manorial settlements.
They are rare nationally with only 200 recorded examples and less than 60
with baileys. As such, and as one of a limited number and very restricted
range of Anglo-Saxon and Norman fortifications, ringworks are of particular
significance to our understanding of the period.

Manor Garth Hill is a good example of a ringwork. Its earthworks are
well-preserved and will retain considerable archaeological remains. In
addition, it is one of the rarer type of ringworks which had an attached
bailey, though this bailey is not included in the scheduling.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of West Riding of Yorkshire, (1912)
MSC measured survey in SMR, West Yorkshire Archaeological Service, Manor Garth Hill, Kippax, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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