Micklefield Castle Plains

Has been described as a Questionable Uncertain

There are no visible remains

NameMicklefield Castle Plains
Alternative NamesCastle Hills
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityLeeds
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishMicklefield

Possible site of a Medieval castle, but no trace can be found. Castle Plains is marked on OS 6", this probably compares with 'Castelltoft' (Castle enclosure) mentioned in 1228. Within the scheduled area of a prehistoric settlement which is overlain by medieval wood banks. (PastScape)

The monument includes a prehistoric field system with an enclosed settlement and associated hollow way in ancient woodland at Castle Hills and Highroyds Wood, at Micklefield. The monument also includes two medieval wood banks. Cropmarks in a field called Highfield include a series of small enclosures lying either side of a sinuous trackway, the latter being contiguous with the hollow way; these represent a plough-levelled part of the prehistoric complex. The field system is extensive and well-preserved. It is composed of a complex of lynchets and broad banks forming irregular quadrangular fields. At Castle Hills, at the summit of a ridge, is a sub-rectangular embanked enclosed settlement 47m by 37m. The enclosure bank is 9m wide and 0.5m high. North of the settlement is a hollow way 13m wide and up to 1m deep. This hollow way crosses the field system from ESE to WNW, becoming multiple at its eastern end where it splits into three approximately parallel courses. The field system, the enclosure and the hollow way appear to be contemporary with each other. The cropmark features, situated on a slight rise, stretch for 450m and comprise a linear arrangment of small curvilinear enclosures, typically 35m in length and 20m wide, lying either side of a sinuous east-west trackway. Some of the enclosures appear to be linked, others overlap and some remain isolated. In one case, a small side track between two of the enclosures leads into what my have been a field system, but the latter has not been recorded as cropmarks. The trackway clearly lines up with the hollow way, suggesting that some if not all of these cropmark features are contemporary with the earthworks

The two wood banks take the form of ditches 5m to 6m wide and up to 0.8m deep, with banks on one or both sides. For most of their length the wood banks are sinuous and the banks are slight, typically 3m to 4m wide and up to 0.2m high. In some stretches, however, the wood bank is straight and has a well-defined bank on one side, up to 0.5m high. The more southern of these wood banks is followed by the township boundary between Micklefield and Ledston. The more northern wood bank takes a sinuous course, running approximately north east from the west corner of the wood, to the south west corner of a quarry, south of a railway line. Near its south western end this wood bank cuts through the hollow way, confirming their respective dates. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Somewhat away from settlement but does overlook Great North Road. Is there any real doubt the 'castell' name refers to the pre-historic earthworks?

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE451321
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  • Smith, A.H., 1961, The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Part 4 Barkston Ash, Skyrack, and Ainsty Wapentakes (English Place-Name Society 33) p. 57