Cantley Castle Hills

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle ()

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameCantley Castle Hills
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishCantley

Site of earthwork on CASTLE HILLS (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book).

Long mound only visible, with possible traces of ditch on east (O.G.S. CRAWFORD Rec. 6" 2.1.1933 R1 MP 06-APR-1959).

SK 6248 9923. A mound orientated roughly NE - SW, and situated at the eastern end of a minor scarp. It measures 1.2m. in height to the north, and 1.5 m. to the south. The surrounding ground is undulating; but there are possible traces of an encircling ditch on the eastern and southern sides. The field containing the mound is arable land, and is, at the present time, under a growing crop (Field Investigators Comments F1 RWE 17-FEB-60). (PastScape)

Birch noted as a possible, very doubtful, earthwork castle site. The distinct elongated oval mound on 10K OS, and described by Magilton as having slight traces of encircling ditch around its max. 1.5m height appeared by 1992 observation to have a been effectively ploughed, although a very slight mounding up was still detactable at the highest point on the site, overlooking a drop to the river. (Sneyd 1995)

Gatehouse Comments

Not distinguishable on the Google Air photo but the Bing Air photo does seem to suggest a mound in an oval feature looking a bit like a motte and bailey. The 1m lidar just misses the site. An extension to the A6182 trunk road was completed in 2016 and this runs just north of the site. Was archaeology done during construction? If so there doesn't seem to be significant finds reported. A low lying area extensively drained. No suggestion of medieval settlement in the immediate area. Some of the cropmarks visible are clearly old water courses in the flood plain of the River Torne. The location appears to be within an area of parkland. The location is not suggestive of a medieval fortification, although, arguably, it has a strategic value as a control point of a crossing of the river. At what date was this first called 'Castle Hills'? Sneyd cites Birch but his article mentions a site in Rossington, which is the adjancent parish south of the river (although this site is closer to Rossington church than to Cantley church). Gatehouse takes Birch to be a reference to Draw Dykes

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK624992
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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 9
  • Magilton, J.R., 1977, The Doncaster District: An Archaeological Survey (Doncaster) p. 24


  • Birch, J., 1981, 'The castles and fortified houses of South Yorkshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 137 p. 374-6 (cited by Sneyd - presumably a reference to 'Rossington')