Rossington Draw Dykes

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House, and also as a Possible Uncertain

There are earthwork remains

NameRossington Draw Dykes
Alternative NamesDraw Dikes
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishRossington

Draw Dikes. Medieval moated site bisected by railway. East half currently threatened with modern housing development. Not the most impressive moat in the district. It probably marks the site of Rossington Manor House, which belonged to the Fossards and Mauleys, eventually passing via the Crown to Doncaster Corporation in Henry VII's reign. (Magilton)

Near the wood denominated the park, vestiges of an ancient edifice are yet observable. On this area, which comprises above 1,000 square yards, the ruins were, until very recently, tolerably extensive, but on the rebuilding of the town in the latter part of the last century, the whole was removed, and the identity of the site is fast verging to the "night of time." The encircling dikes are yet to be seen, but the rivulet which replenished, them with the means of defence, has ceased to perform its functions. Rafters, which appear to have sustained a draw-bridge, or some such construction upon the moat, were, before the enclosure, clearly evident. The road which led to this quondam hoary mansion, was below the present rampart, and seems to have made directly to the bridge that crossed the enclosing foss. Near to it was found a brass dial-plate, but its date is posterior to that of the demolition of the house. To attempt successfully to unravel the mysterious history of this foundation would be a task of no ordinary character. That a residence of some importance was established here is more than probable. This is evinced by what remains of the foundation, as well as by the testimony of popular tradition. The wood that flanks its northern side is called the park, a sheet of water environed its eastern bank, and the whole plot bears the significant appellation of the "Draw-dikes;" but by whom or when erected, must, we are afraid, remain an eternal secret. Its local situation and defensible attitude, vest it with an air of antiquity that reaches beyond the age of our eighth Harry

Within the immediate precincts of this place, we art not aware that any family of note took up its residence, and whether it, with the park, &c., passed from Byrks to the burgesses, or was the occasional residence of the Maulays, is not within the circle of our knowledge. Such ensigns as betoken wealth, and denote more than ordinary consequence, have, however, occasionally shewn themselves; but all, or the major part of them, had reference to the Barons de Maulay. Previously to the church being repaired, some of the venerable old windows exhibited a limited, but rich display of painted glass ; and until a very recent date, one of the windows in the chancel preserved the effigies of Maud de Maulay, lady of Doncaster, as she was then stiled, but now the hand of art has repaired the encroachments of time, and scarcely an article in the village, save the church, can aspire to the age of one hundred years. (Wainwright)

Gatehouse Comments

Birch mentions as a doubtful castle site at Rossington. Presumably this refers to Draw Dykes moat, probably the site of Rossington Manor House but may be Cantley Castle Hills, although that is in the adjacent CP of Cantley.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK618985
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  • Hey, David, 2003, Medieval South Yorkshire (Landmark Publishing) p. 65
  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 10
  • Magilton, J.R., 1977, The Doncaster District: An Archaeological Survey (Doncaster) p. 63, 64, 93
  • Fullerton, 1870, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales
  • Hunter, J., 1828, South Yorkshire. The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster in the Diocese and County of York Vol. 1 p. 66
  • Wainwright, J., 1826, Historical Introduction to the Wapentake of Staford and Tickhill (Sheffield) p. 136-7 online copy


  • Birch, J., 1981, 'The castles and fortified houses of South Yorkshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 137 p. 374-6
  • 1835 Dec 4, Doncaster Gazette