Hunmanby Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHunmanby Castle Hill
Alternative NamesCastlegarth
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishHunmanby

Motte and bailey of the Norman castle at Hunmanby. The village of Hunmanby lies on the western scarp of the Wolds and the castle is situated on Castle Hill, a slight promontory overlooking the village, 100m west of the 11th century All Saints' Church. The monument also lies in the grounds of Hunmanby Hall, a 17th century house later converted into a school for girls and subsequently extended by major new building in the early 1900s. The motte occupies the highest point on Castle Hill, a natural knoll which provided an easily defended site requiring little modification. A ditch, 10m wide and 3m deep, defines the western edge of the motte, providing an additional fortification against attack from the high ground to the west. The ditch once surrounded the motte and, although to the south and east it has become infilled over the years or altered by garden landscaping so that it is no longer visible as an earthwork, it will survive as a buried feature. To the north the motte is bounded by the steep scarp of the road embankment. The motte is estimated to be 60m in diameter and the top is about 4m above the surrounding land surface. A recent study of historical documents and aerial photographic records has identified the original extent of the bailey and, although the southern part of the bailey has been altered by terracing associated with modern buildings, the northern portion remains undeveloped. This portion, estimated to be one quarter of the original area of the bailey, measures 220m east-west by 100m north-south. The northern edge of the bailey is defined by the modern road, Castle Hill or Ratten Row, which runs in a 5m deep cutting down into the town centre. Hunmanby Castle was built by Guilbert de Gant. In the 14th century, the site of the motte is referred to as 'Castlegarth', while a field containing the bailey is called 'Erlesing'. The castle, together with a large area of land to the west of the village, was emparked in the 18th century

(Scheduling Report)

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 ReferenceTA094775
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) p. 7, 48, 68, 91, 112, 240
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 49
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 519
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 45


  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 215 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
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 599 online copy