Breckenbrough Castle

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameBreckenbrough Castle
Alternative NamesKirby Wiske
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishNewsham with Breckenbrough

Breckenbrough Castle Farm, possibly built on the site of a castle. Air photographs taken in 1999 show a complex of earthworks comprising a series of sub-rectangular enclosures of probable medieval date to the west of the farm. Earthworks immediately to the south of the farm comprising a mound situated at the right angle formed between two banks, may represent later post medieval features, possibly garden features. (PastScape)

The hamlet of Breckenbrough or Breckenborough adjoins Newsham, and was anciently the property of the Lascelles family, one of whom was summoned to parliament among the barons in the 22nd of Edward I., and the following year. They had a castle here in which Sir Thomas Lascelles died in 1619, but every trace of it has disappeared, and its site is now occupied by a farmhouse. (Bulmer 1890)

Air photographs taken in 1999 show a complex of earthworks of probable medieval date to the west of the farm. They comprise a series of sub-rectangular enclosures centred at SE 3757 8423. The most clearly visible enclosure (SE 3757 8420) measures approximately 48m by 41m. A block of ridge and furrow cultivation immediately to the west respects these features. A second block of ridge and furrow to the south appears to partially overlie some of the earthworks (SE 3758 8419). To the south of the farm, centred at 3767 8419, are the bank and mound recorded by authority 3 (these are also depicted on the OS 1856 6 inch map). A second bank is visible forming a right angle with the first; the mound is situated at the approximate right angle. These features may represent garden features of post medieval date. (PastScape)

South of Kirkby Wiske is Breckenbrough. Its capital messuage is mentioned in 1304, (Yorks. Inq. p.m. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.) iv, 96) the park and lodge in 1561, (Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser

2), clx, 45) and in 1618 there was a house there described as having 'two strong, large brick-towers of three stories high, between them only the hall which is faire and large, high roofed, well lighted and a large and good chimney. From each of these towers goes out a wing towards the gate, which make a handsome four-square courte, . . . a very fayre square garden, adjoyning to the south side of the house.' (Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), iv, 269 n.) Of Breckenbrough Castle nothing but a marble step remains; the old Breckenbrough Hall was sold by J. C. Hucks to Mr. Samuelson, who pulled it down and built the modern hall. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

Marked as site of a Castle of the Lascelles on 1856 OS map.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE376842
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  • Jackson, M.J., 2001, Castles of North Yorkshire (Carlisle) p. 91
  • Ingham, Bernard, 2001, Bernard Ingham's Yorkshire Castles (Dalesman) p. 17
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1914, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 1 p. 176-83 (tenurial history) online transcription
  • 1890, Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire
  • Whellan, T., 1857, History and topography of the city of York and the North Riding of Yorkshire (T Whellan and Co) Vol. 2 p. 539 online copy


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 551
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 66-7 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Brown, Wm (ed), 1906, Yorkshire Inquistions of the reigns of Henry III and Edward I (Yorkshire Archaeological Society) Vol. 4 p. 96
  • Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clx, 45
  • Raine, J. (ed), 1869, Testamenta eboracensia or wills registered at York (Surtees Society 53) Vol. 4 p. 269n online copy