Girsby Castle Hill

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are uncertain remains

NameGirsby Castle Hill
Alternative NamesLow Dinsdale
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishGirsby

Butler suggests a low mound here is a potential castle site. He writes it as being at Low Dinsdale and calls it Castle Hill.

Gatehouse Comments

The map in the article gives approximately this location marked Castle Hill on the OS map. Castle Hill is a promontory of land steeply sided on three sides. No mound is marked on the map or recorded in PastScape, however a medieval moat, formerly considered a Roman signal station, is recorded in a position near to but off the hill at NZ36720951. The North Yorkshire HER records a 'Ring Ditch' at NZ366093. This is clearly not a major manorial centre but could be the site of a farmstead of a type worth a part of a knight's fee and which, in the welsh marches, are sometime marked by a small motte and a castle place-name. Is the modern farm on the site of possible medieval buildings. However, it may be that Butler is, in fact, referring to the Low Dinsdale Manor House although this is neither a mound nor is it called Castle Hill. 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 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 ReferenceNZ368093
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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))