Hatterboard Tower

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameHatterboard Tower
Alternative NamesHaverbergh; Atterburghe; Atterbarghe; Northstead
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishNewby and Scalby

The duchy of Lancaster had a tower called Hatterburghe, but this was in decay in the time of Richard Duke of Gloucester, who annexed 16 or 17 oxgangs 'lying to it' (Probably Hatterboard field ( Yorks. Fines, Tudors {Yorks. Arch. Soc.}, i, 147).) to Northstead House, which Richard 'inclosed . . . with quicke setts,' as it remained in 1634. (Duchy of Lanc. Spec. Com. no. 1126.) (VCH)

TA 017887. The deserted medieval village of Hatterboard was located by documentary research, field observation and confirmed by excavation in 1957-59 on the north slope of a low clay hillock, with poor drainage, which rises from about 200 to 250 ft. The village is not mention in Domesday but in 1167, 'Hatterberga' was an established entity large enough to be taxed. A community of Franciscan friars (previously at Scarborough) established a church and friary buildings, enclosed by a stone wall, here in 1245 but returned to Scarborough between 1267 and 1272. There is mention of a "tower" at Hatterboard belonging to the Earl Edmund (circa 1267) which may have been no more than a hunting lodge and possible administration centre of the Forest of Scalby.

The building was ruinous by 1480 when Richard, Duke of Gloucester "annexed 16 or 17 exgangs (about 280 acres) lying to the tower" to his adjoining manor of Northstead and enclosed the fields with "quicksetts" (ie hawthorn).

The village had declined or may even have been deserted at this time and was certainly depopulated by 1563. There is no documentary or archaeological evidence of a manor-house or church here.

The excavations of F.C. Rimington and the members of Scarborough and Dist A S revealed the stone foundations of five houses and probably two more.

The large quantity of pottery recovered confirmed the known history. The sherds dated from the late 12th century, reaching their maximum in the period 1275-1350 and very shortly afterwards abruptly ceased

One or two later sherds (16th century) were probably transported here during subsequent cultivation.

The site of the Franciscan Friary was not located with certainty but the multi-roomed house No 2, overlying a possible 12th century timberbuilding, was tenuously considered as the site. House No 5 with stronger masonry than the other buildings was examined as the possible 13th century "tower" but the construction details made this doubtful. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

A foresters tower, providing relatively modest accommodation for the forest official in charge of forest law etc. would seem entirely probably. Surviving examples of these are rare (Thetford Warren Lodge is a C15 example), but they may have been fairly ubiquitous in areas of forest. As a potential target for gangs of poachers, perhaps trying to force release of captives, such towers may have been strongly built and be defensible. As a symbol of authority they may have dressed up with martial symbols like crenellations. However, the actual forester would be a relatively low status individual - the associated land would provide part of the income for the forester. The dismissal of the house (no. 5) with 1m thick walls found on excavation may need reconsideration if the excavator had some preconceptions as to what a 'Duchy of Lancaster tower' might actually be. Despite following the VCH given references Gatehouse can not find the actual sources for a mention of a tower!

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTA017887
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Rimington, F.C., 1961, The Deserted Medieval Village of Hatterboard Near Scarborough (Scarborough and District Archaeological Society Research report 2) p. 13
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1923, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 2 p. 476- online transcription
  • Turton, Robert Bell (ed), 1897, The Honor and Forest of Pickering Vol. 1 p. 8

Primary Sources

  • Francis Collins (ed), 1887, Feet of Fines of the Tudor period. Part 1 (Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association Record Series 2) p. 147 (mention of Atterbergh Feld - no mention of tower) online transcription
  • Duchy of Lanc. Spec. Com. no. 1126 is equivalent to The National Archives DL44/1126
  • P.H. Slingsby (ed), 1956, Feet of fines for the county of York, from 1272 to 1300 (Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association Record Series 121) p.