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Money Hill motte and bailey castle

A Scheduled Monument in Pickhill with Roxby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2482 / 54°14'53"N

Longitude: -1.4709 / 1°28'15"W

OS Eastings: 434572.517479

OS Northings: 483743.612144

OS Grid: SE345837

Mapcode National: GBR LM59.BW

Mapcode Global: WHD8F.CHT3

Entry Name: Money Hill motte and bailey castle

Scheduled Date: 16 June 1980

Last Amended: 12 November 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021138

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34731

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Pickhill with Roxby

Built-Up Area: Pickhill

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes earthwork and associated buried remains of a motte
and bailey castle. The motte, known as Money Hill, was incorporated into a
railway embankment in 1851 and lies 130m west of All Saints Church, on the
west bank of Pickhill Beck.

The castle is believed to have been built by Roald, the third hereditary
Constable of Richmond, during the wars between King Stephen and the
Empress Matilda in 1135-53. Roald is better known as the founder of Easby
Abbey near Richmond in circa 1155. Sometime before 1209, Pickhill, with
its castle, was given to Jollan de Neville at his marriage to the fourth
Constable's daughter Amfelisa. The castle is believed to have continued as
the main residence of the Nevilles of Pickhill until 1319 when the village
and castle were sacked by the Scots in one of their raids into northern
England following the Scottish victory at Bannockburn in 1314. In 1851 the
motte was incorporated into a railway embankment by the Leeds and Thirsk
Railway Company and in the early 1980s a bungalow was built on part of
this embankment.

The motte is roughly square in plan, standing approximately 3m high and
30m across at its summit. Its north western and south eastern corners
extend beyond the line of the railway embankment which runs NNE to SSW.
The motte was originally surrounded by a moat ditch. This still survives
as an earthwork on the south eastern side where it is approximately 1m
deep and 15m wide. Around the rest of the circuit it survives as an
infilled feature. A plan by the historian W I'Anson in 1913 shows the
castle's bailey on the western side of the motte, defined by a curving
bank. The earthworks to the west of the railway embankment are reputed to
have been levelled by bulldozers during World War II and the area
subsequently ploughed. This area is included within the monument to
protect any deep buried remains such as refuse pits, as well as the
infilled moat which can still be traced as a slight depression.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling: these are the
bungalow that stands on the railway embankment to the south of the motte,
along with associated out buildings and other structures, as well as all
modern fences, walls, gates, telegraph poles, and all road and path
surfaces; although the ground beneath all these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Motte and bailey 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-bailey 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 and
bailey 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally,
with examples known from most regions. 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.

Although Money Hill motte and bailey castle has been incorporated into a
railway embankment and damaged by agriculture, it will retain important
buried remains, especially within the infilled moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
L'Anson, W M, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Castles of the North Riding, , Vol. 22, (1913)

Source: Historic England

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