Thorp Arch Castle Hill

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NameThorp Arch Castle Hill
Alternative NamesThorpe Arch; Castle of De Arches
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityLeeds
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishThorp Arch

possible motte now built over (King)

Close to the park gates {of Thorp Arch Hall} is a large rocky mound-like eminence which I gather is the site of the manor house of Thorp Arch. The site is known as the "old Castle" and is now occupied by the waterworks-tower". (Speight)

No traces of a former building occur at this site. The large mound referred to above, is natural. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments F1 RL 07-MAY-63)

Gatehouse Comments

Marked 'Castle (site of)' on 1891 OS map. The location at one end of a village with the church at the other is not untypical for a manorial centre with Thorparch Hall being a later replacement away from the village within the demense land and park. The use of a natural mound as a foci for a manorial centre is not unknown (cf. Y Gaer, Manor Pound, Maenclochog), however if there was a manor house near the mound it did not leave visible features. The castle name may have come from this being the site of a manorial centre or from years as a centre of children playing 'king of the castle'. The small size of the manor, the lack of artificial remains and the lack of medieval documentary evidence suggest it is most unlikely this was the location of a castle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE431460
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  • Cummings, D., 1999, Thorp Arch: A Historry of a Township
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 532 (possible)
  • Speight, Harry, 1902, Lower Wharfedale (London: Elliot Stock) p. 424 online copy


  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 775 online copy