Cockermouth Tute Hill

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCockermouth Tute Hill
Alternative NamesToot Hill
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishCockermouth

A little east of Cockermouth Castle is a supposed Tumulus called Tute Hill; there are however many natural mounds of gravel in the vicinity. (Not in Collingwoods Inventory of Cumberland. CW2 23 251) (Ward).

A steep sided flat-topped ditchless mound 2.8m. high now under pasture. It appears artificial but its proportions are smaller than the natural mounds in the vicinity, and suggest a windmill mound rather than a barrow. (Field Investigators Comments–F1 RL 18-APR-66).

Scheduled as Tute Hill motte; an oval earthern mound measuring approximately 18.7m east-west by 16.6m north-south and up to 3m high. It is strategically located on a plateau close to the confluence of the Rivers Cocker and Derwent and would have been constructed during the early/mid-12th century, but was quickly superseded by the present Cockermouth Castle (English Heritage SAM Amendment 10.5.95). (PastScape)

At the north end of the town is a tumulus, or artificial mount, called Toot Hill (Mannix and Whellan)

Tute Hill is a Scheduled Monument and is thought to have been constructed during the 12th century. Although it has been suggested that it may have been a motte, Winchester (pers. comm 2001) suggests that 'tute' means 'look-out'. (Extensive Urban Survey)

Gatehouse Comments

This Scheduling record is much more positive than Perriam & Robinson who write 'possible motte or windmill'. If this is the precursor to Cockermouth then it's history is given in the sources given for Cockermouth castle though all those sources presume that Cockermouth was built upon it's earthwork precursor. What happen between 1966, when considered a windmill mound, and 1995 when scheduled as a motte? On the edge of an area called Deer Orchard with other 'park' names close by suggesting this may be a deer park viewing mound. The real problem with the suggestion that this is a motte is what would be the reason for not using the castle site from the first? Because of the scheduling report recorded in Gatehouse as 'possible' although rather more questionable than is usually for that category.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY124307
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 95
  • Mannix and Whellan, 1847, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland (Beverley) p. 527 online copy
  • Hutchinson, W., 1794, The History of the County of Cumberland (Carlisle) Vol. 2 p. 119 online copy


  • Ward, J.C., 1878, 'Notes on Archaeological Remains in the Lake District' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 3 p. 246 online copy


  • English Heritage, 2006, Extensive Urban Survey - Cumbria (Cumbria County Council) Download copy