Hayton Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHayton Castle Hill
Alternative NamesHeton
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishHayton

A well-chosen site, artificially scarped and naturally defensive with double rampart and intervening fosse. On the south-west there is a broad terrace above the deep ravine. In 1863 there were "remains of a breast-work" on the top. (OS record refering Rome-Hall) The work, which falls in a private garden, is difficult to reconcile with Rome-Hall's description. Clearly there has never been a ditch, and basically it is a natural hillock artificially scarped into a mound 30m diameter, and raised by excavation of the top to give a form of ringwork. External heights average 3.5m in the west decreasing to between 2m and 2.5m in the east, although these may have been reduced in part by a terraced footpath around the base. The interior is now only slightly 'dished' as the result of landscape gardening, but around the northern arc the inner bank, although spread, still attains a height approaching 2m suggesting an original difference between internal and external ground levels of zero in the east varying to some 1.5 to 2m in the west. There are no indications of there having been a bailey. Topographically the work is situated at the southern end of a broad ridge, and has some natural defensive strength on the south and west sides, but Rome-Hall's "deep ravine" is an exaggeration. (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments F1 RE 23-MAR-72)

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 ReferenceNY506578
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 108
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 155
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 59
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 60
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 86
  • Pevsner, N., 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth: Penguin) p. 136 (places this at the wrong Hayton)
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 40
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Collingwood, W.G., 1901, 'Remains of the pre-Norman Period' in H.Arthur Doubleday (ed), VCH Cumberland Vol. 1 p. 292 online copy
  • Jefferson, S., 1838, History and Antiquities of Carlisle p. 403 online copy
  • Whellan, W., 1860, The History and Topography of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (Pontefract) p. 677 online copy
  • Hutchinson, W., 1794, The History of the County of Cumberland (Carlisle) Vol. 1 p. 149-50 online copy


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Hall, G.Rome, 1883, 'On Ancient Remains, chiefly Prehistoric, in Geltsdale, Cumberland' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 6 Part 2 p. 466-7 online copy


  • Constable, Christopher, 2003, Aspects of the archaeology of the castle in the north of England C 1066-1216 (Doctoral thesis, Durham University) Available at Durham E-Theses Online