Rochdale Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NameRochdale Castle Hill
Alternative NamesCastleton; castelli de Racheham
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityRochdale
1974 AuthorityGreater Manchester
Civil ParishRochdale

Rochdale Castle (motte & bailey) is situated about 1/4 mile to the south-west of old Rochdale Parish Church, upon the top of a natural feature called 'Castle Hill'. The earthworks are considerably mutilated by modern development, but Fishwick's plan depicts them as they were in 1823. The mound, now demolished, stood at the north end of the hill, at the apex of a triangular platform, and was flat topped, with a basal diameter of about 100ft. The bailey, to the south, was an irregular square measuring 120ft east to west, and 100ft north to south. An earthen rampart which formerly surrounded it is still intact on the east, west and part of the south sides, together with traces of an outer ditch. There was originally a second ditch at the foot of the hill to the south and south-east.

The Castle was an important fortalice in early Norman, perhaps even in pre-Conquest days. It was abandoned certainly as early as the first years of the 13th century (VCH 1908).

No remains, now completely built over (F1 BHP 29-SEP-76). (PastScape)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSD891128
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 112
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Lancashire and Cheshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 38
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 247
  • Gibson, Leslie Irving, 1977, Lancashire Castles and Towers (Dalesman Books)
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 299
  • Farrer, Wm, and Brownbill, J. (eds), 1911, 'Townships: Newton in Makerfield' VCH Lancashire Vol. 5 p. 187-201 (tenurial history) online transcription
  • Gardner, W., 1908, 'Ancient Earthworks:- Lancashire South of the Sands' in Farrer, William and Brownbill, J. (eds), VCH Lancashire Vol. 2 p. 537-9 (plan) online copy
  • Fishwick, H., 1889, History of Rochdale (James Clegg) p. 65-6 online copy


  • Fishwick, H., 1901, 'The Old Castles of Lancashire.' Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 19 p. 46-8 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 207 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Hulton, W.A., 1847, The Coucher Book or Chartulary of Whalley Abbey Vol 2 (Manchester, Chetham Society 11) p. 599, 608 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