Thormanby, Ivy Bound Castle

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameThormanby, Ivy Bound Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishThormanby

A circular stone foundation discovered 1960 in a field SW of Thormanby village at SE 493746. Excavation showed it to be 21 ft external diameter and 14 ft internal diameter, consisting of facing stones and a rubble core. Part of the circle had been destroyed by ploughing. Four sherds were found, one fragment in the wall pitching "not unlike Roman pottery". The farmer had dug the centre of the foundations finding only bones which were thought to be human. Md potsherds and a portion of Ro tegula were found in the field. The date and significance of the structure is uncertain. On the lower ground towards the south, a "moat" at least 5 ft deep was exposed by drainage operations. It had a dark peaty filling in which two or three oak posts were set upright (Hayes, 1965).

There are now no visible remains of this foundation. The site, which was pointed out by the farmer, is at SE 49327456 and lies in a field which is now under barley. Approximately 50m to the south, in a low lying area, are vague undulations but no definite traces of a moat (Field Investigators Comments–F1 BHP 05-JUN-74). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

This may actually be a feature associated with Thormanby Hall (SE494747 or its precursor on the same site). Was this actually a dovecote or folly and was the 'moat' actually a fishpond? Jackson quotes report of circa 1800 "On the top of the hill commanding an extensive prospect is Ivy Bound Castle, formerly no doubt a place of note. It has been mostly rebuilt within the last few years, but still retains some traces of antiquity." The given location, on top of a hill, is not quite that of the circular building, which did not show signs of being rebuilt on excavation. Was this an earlier house on the site of Thormanby Hall, which is on a hill top?

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE493745
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Jackson, M.J., 2001, Castles of North Yorkshire (Carlisle) p. 96
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1923, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 2 p. 207 (parish history only) online transcription
  • Whellan, T., 1857, History and topography of the city of York and the North Riding of Yorkshire (T Whellan and Co) Vol. 2 p. 644 online copy


  • Hayes, R. H., 1965, Ryedale Historian Vol. 1 p. 40-42