Violet Grange mound

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameViolet Grange mound
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishRichmond

Possible Bronze Age round barrow which may have been reused during the 2nd World War as a machine gun emplacement. Its centre is heavily disturbed and a large L shaped slit trench dug into the centre of the mound gives some credence to its wartime usage. It lies on a north to south ridge which appears to be an old field boundary between 2 areas of ridge and furrow. It has been suggested that another interpretation of this earthwork is that it may be the remains of a motte from a medieval castle site. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Butler suggests the low mound here, at the junction of Roman Roads, is a potential early castle site associated with the honour of Richmond. His thesis being along the lines that the honour boundaries were marked and protected by several small castle sites, possibly also representing the holding of knights owing castle guard to Richmond. In such a case the apparent isolation from medieval settlement may represent the deliberate foundation of a knight fee farmstead in a strategic position (presumably one superseded by Violet Grange). However, this thesis is problematic. The mound, even before it was damaged, did not really have the form of a motte and there seems no reason why one of the nearby existing Saxon settlements should not have been used to support a knight and be the base for a boundary castle, if such a thing did actual exist. The suggestion that some early castle were built to control river crossings is made elsewhere (notably by Mary Higham for North Lancashire) but the actual evidence is often weak, certainly for England. This may suggest such sites were early, flimsy and soon abandoned or that the theory is flawed. However, few such sites have been thoroughly investigated.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ212057
Latitude54.4468002319336
Longitude-1.67333996295929
Eastings421280
Northings505760
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Journals

  • Butler, Lawrence, 1994, 'The Origins of the Honour of Richmond and its Castles' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 16 p. 69-80 (Reprinted in Liddiard, Robert, (ed), 2003, Anglo-Norman Castles p. 91-103 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press))