Hampole Castle Hill

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameHampole Castle Hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishHampole

An extremely slight elongated mound much reduced and spread by cultivation. A superficial rise is apparent towards the eastern end of its axis with a level area on the west. The profile is suggestive of the remains of a small motte and bailey but no definite conclusions can be reached from its present state. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments F1 RL 11-SEP-64)

Aerial photograph evidence shows a rectangular moat. Could this be a moated manor site rather than a motte? May be a small moat and bailey, much damaged by cultivation. (South Yorkshire SMR)

A slight swelling in field o'looking Hampole Dike from N., ENE Hampole village, indicates site of ploughed-out De Busli motte. SW Priory Farm, just E track of removed N-S rail line and can be well seen from Wakefield-Doncaster rail line running S. of Dike. Castle Hill 1841 OS. Shown early 10K OS as well-defined oval mound, long axis NW/SW. Site, on slightly elevated ground, is noted by Mannington as producing "a scatter of limestone... in the field" which could indicate associated stone structure or defenses. (Sneyd 1995)

Gatehouse Comments

Recorded by David Cathcart King as 'possible' meaning, in his terms, doubtful. Hampole was small Domesday manor. Recorded as an antiquity on the 1850's OS map but with no suggestion of form or existence of earthworks. The landscape has been effected by building of railway lines (one now disused). The apparent lack of earthworks before 1850 and before the introduction of mechanical ploughing suggest the site was not ever a substantial earthwork. However the site is only 1km from the A1 and it is possible, if this was a hill based on glacial gravel, that it may have been quarried for road repairs. The site is about 500 west of Hampole with no obvious route way connection to the hamlet. A house of Cistercian nuns was founded c.1150 by William de Clairfait and Avicia his wife at Hampole (SE506103) (see South Yorks SMR 00413/01). If Castle Hill was the site of a high status residence then possibly it was a new build of the mid C12 with the original manorial centre being the base for the Cistercian house. The existence of a motte and bailey seems unlikely but the very damaged site is scheduled as such. Excavation here could hardly caused more damage. Certainly geophysical survey may give a suggestion of the existence and form of ditches. The site does show up quite well on Lidar and could be a 'ringmotte' (in the sense of a ringwork with a motte overlying part of the embankment i.e. not surrounded by its own ditch) or a moated site with a collapsed building in one corner.

- 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 ReferenceSE511104
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  • Hey, David, 2003, Medieval South Yorkshire (Landmark Publishing) p. 75
  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 11
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 531 (possible)
  • Hey, D., 1979, The Making of South Yorkshire (Ashbourne: Moorland) p. 44
  • Magilton, J.R., 1977, The Doncaster District: An Archaeological Survey (Doncaster) p. 43


  • Birch, J., 1981, 'The castles and fortified houses of South Yorkshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 137 p. 374-6


  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 92 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 113 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 105 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 109 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 119 online copy
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 727-8 online copy