Kirklinton Castle Hill

Has been described as a Possible Tower House

There are no visible remains

NameKirklinton Castle Hill
Alternative NamesKirklington; Levington Hall; Stubb
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishKirklinton Middle

"A few hundred yards from the house of the Dacres (Kirklinton Hall) may be traced the remains of an old mansion or castle .... From this place, it is said, many of the stones were got for building Kirklinton Hall. Between this place and the church .... there seems to have been a town. It is now tillage ground, but in many places there are pavements not above ten or twelve inches below the surface" (Graham).

There are no visible remains of a building of any type. The published site is situated on a small natural hillock from which the ground falls away to the north and west. The level area to the east is traversed by a slight ditch 0.5m deep and 80.0m in length, terminating to the north east in a small ravine. This may be the remains of an obstructive ditch, but the two arms of a moat (published on the 25") are no more than natural gullies. The alleged "site of the town" falls in pasture land at NY 433672 and there are no visible remains. (Field Investigators Comments–F1 BHP 22-OCT-72).

The highest land land near Stubb has locally been known as Castle Hill, the site of a strongly fortified house of the de Levington family (Perriam and Robinson). (PastScape)

King writes 'Remains of some ditches belonging to probable tower mentioned in 1590'. A possible late tower house is recorded in the SMR record for Kirklinton Hall /p>

Gatehouse Comments

It is difficult to see a reason for moving Kirklington Hall a couple of hundred yard, since there seems no significant difference between the two sites, although the changes of ownership recorded in Bulmer might give some reason. Field boundaries shown on the 1868 OS map have since been removed and the area has clearly been ploughed but it still seems the physical evidence for any structure at this site is weak. However this is a strong tradition, houses do move and current Kirklinton Hall is said to date to 1661 and a tower is recorded before that date. A tower probably existed at Kirklinton, the caput of the Levington barony, probably of some strength since sometimes called a castle, but the precise location is uncertain. The recorded traditional site is not unreasonable and robbing of stone can be impressively intense. Further investigation with geophysics and judicious and careful metal detecting could be informative.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY432674
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 82
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 96
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 87
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 297
  • Bulmer, T.F., 1901, History, Topography, and Directory Of Cumberland p. 242-3 online transcription
  • Jeffrey, A., 1864, History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire Vol. 4 p. 232 (facsimile of map) online copy
  • Hutchinson, W., 1794, The History of the County of Cumberland (Carlisle) Vol. 2 p. 570 online copy


  • Graham, T.H.B., 1912, 'The de Levingtons of Kirklinton' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 12 p. 59-75 online copy
  • Graham, T.H.B., 1911, 'The Border Manors' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 11 p. 45 online copy
  • Graham, T.H.B., 1910, 'Extinct Cumberland Castles. Part II' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 10 p. 107-8 online copy
  • Ellis, H., 1829, 'Copy of a manuscript tract addressed to Lord Burghley, illustrative of the Border topography of Scotland, AD 1590, with a platt or map of the Borders taken in the same year' Archaeologia Vol. 22 p. 161-71 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1590, A Platt of the opposete Borders of Scotland to ye west marches of England (The Aglionby Platt) British Library online Gallery and [Old Cumbria Gazetteer >] (see also [Gatehouse Essay 'The Aglionby Platt' >])
  • 1607, Platt of the Forrest of Nicholl and the Mannor of Liddale, Arthurett and Randelinton with the Debatable groundes online copy (Randylinton)