Cliffe mound

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCliffe mound
Alternative NamesBetty Watson's Hill
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishCliffe

Butler suggests the low mound here is a potential castle site.

A round barrow situated on a bluff to the south of the River Tees at Piercebridge. The barrow has a flat topped earth and stone mound standing 1.8 metres high. It is round in shape and measures 22 metres in diameter. The mound was originally surrounded by a quarry ditch up to 3 metres wide, although this has been infilled over the years and is no longer visible as an earthwork. It has been suggested that this is a medieval motte or castle remains, rather than a barrow. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Butler suggested a number of possible small sites, associated with Roman roads, on the boundary of the Honour of Richmond which attributed to the conquest and consolidation period of the newly formed lordship. In fact most of these sites do not appear to have medieval use and his argument about the way Norman authority was established in Richmondshire is probably incorrect. The suggestion that some early castles 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

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ208151
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  • 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))