Whitewell Hall Hill

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameWhitewell Hall Hill
Alternative NamesRadun Park
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityLancashire
1974 AuthorityLancashire
Civil ParishBowland Forest Low

Hall Hill, Whitewell. This is a natural limestone knoll which had obviously been adapted for use as a motte. Hall Hill is located at the edge of Radun Park (a medieval creation) and close to the centre of Forest administration. It is on a bluff above the Hodder, commanding the valley above the gorge. (PastScape ref. Higham)

Gatehouse Comments

This is one a several sites identified by Higham as a possible early (i.e. C11) castle sites designed to establish control of river crossing points in the North East, before power was more centralised at Lancaster etc.. While her thesis is worthy of consideration several of these possible sites, including this one, are weak suggestions. The site needs careful examination by an experienced field archaeologist but it may be entirely natural or altered for reasons other than a motte or at other times (i.e. It may have been turned in into a tree stand - designed to stop deer eating tree saplings). Although now a rather isolated site on the edge of the Forest of Bowland was the site of a Domesday Settlement of which a C15 Chapel of ease is a last relic. The Wikipedia entry (accessed 15 June 2013) reads "It is thought that the ancient administrative centre of the Forest was at Hall Hill, north-north-east of the current hamlet. It is conjectured that this motte - now merely an earthwork mound surmounted by trees overlooking the old keeper's cottage at Seed Hill Farm - formed the centre of an early medieval hunting laund (enclosure) known as Radholme which is mentioned as a vill in Domesday. (Higham)" Certainly it is a possibility that the natural knoll was used as a symbolic marker of the legal status of the forester.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSD663468
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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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


  • Higham, Mary, 1991, 'The Mottes of North Lancashire, Lonsdale and South Cumbria' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 91 p. 79-90 (reprinted in Crosby, A.G. (ed), 2007, Of names and places: selected writings of Mary Higham (Nottingham: English Place-Name Society and the Society for Name Studies) p. 81-91) online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1086, Domesday Book Philimore reference 30W37 online copy