Tadcaster Town Defences

Has been described as a Possible Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameTadcaster Town Defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishTadcaster

Traces of Tadcaster medieval town defences are recorded in C18 and C19, Camden referring to a ditch surrounding the town as a part of the defences of the Roman town. There are now no extant remains. (PastScape)

Hachuring of a bank or terrace shown but not described (which together with property boundaries forms an apparently continuous earthwork on the west side of Tadcaster with a corner formed in the south-west) (OS 6" map 1846-9). Speight refers to 'entrenchments' extending along the lane south-west of 'John Smith's brewery' by St. Joseph's Lane past Castle Hill on the north side where some traces existed. He associates them with the Battle of Tadcaster Bridge in 1642 but Camden refers to a ditch surrounding the town as part of the defences of the Roman town. The town defences at Tadcaster have now disappeared but may have dated from early Norman or a pre-conquest period, the motte probably having been superimposed. (PastScape)

fossarum quibus ambiebatur vestigia (Camden)

Gatehouse Comments

Bond records as medieval embankments. These ditches and possible banks may well have been boundary markers and drains rather than defensive. As with most Yorkshire towns the gate road names of Kirkgate and Westgate are from the Danish gata (street) and not a reference to lost gateways. Map reference for parish church.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE485435
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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

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  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 157 (listed as Roman walls not later used)
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 24, 60, 268
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • Barley, M.W., 1975, 'Town Defences in England and Wales after 1066' in Barley (ed) The plans and topography of medieval towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14) p. 57-71 download/view online
  • Speight, Harry, 1902, Lower Wharfedale (London: Elliot Stock) p. 259-60 online copy



  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Ramm, H.G., 1966, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 22 p. 564