How Gill Earthwork

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are no visible remains

NameHow Gill Earthwork
Alternative NamesHowgill
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishCastle Sowerby

Site of possible ringwork destroyed after 1860. Possible precursor to Castle How. (Jackson)

How Hill, which we may reasonably infer to have given name to the township in which it is situated, possesses a few remains of "days long since departed." On its summit is a circular enclosure, mounded with stone and earth, about twenty-one yards in diameter, with an opening or entrance on the south side. Large oaks have grown through the mound. (Whellen)

A ring-mound, 21 yds. in diameter, at Howgill (TCWAAS 1923).

There are no surface indications of any earthwork here, the 25" published survey (revised) is of part of a natural hillock (F1 RE 03-NOV-70). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Isolated location by a farmstead. Nothing visible on the location given in PastScape and there may be some question as to the accuracy of this given location. There seems to be no reason to think that Castle How had a precursor. There may well have been some sort of defensive earthwork here of some, undetermined date, but it seems unlikely it was a castle. Equally the description in Whellan might just be that of a tree stand - a deliberated constructed mound, revetted with a wall, or bank and dry stone wall, designed to keep deer from grazing on the shoots of young oak trees.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY360401
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  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 45
  • Whellan, W., 1860, The History and Topography of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (Pontefract: W.Whellan and Co.) p. 520 online copy


  • Collingwood, W.G., 1923, 'An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Cumberland' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 23 p. 240 online copy