Hornby Castle, Yorkshire

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHornby Castle, Yorkshire
Alternative NamesHorneby; Halnaby
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishHornby

Fortified manor house. Late C15, mid C18 and C20. C15 work for William, Lord Conyers; C18 work for Robert Conyers Darcy, Earl of Holderness. Coursed rubble sandstone, lead and stone slate roofs. South range of 2 storeys and 3:3:3 bays, and 3-storey 2-bay tower recessed to right; also screen walls, remnants of former west and east ranges. South range: mid C18 incorporating C15 work. Sash windows with glazing bars and hoodmoulds, crenellated parapets above string course. Central 3 bays are canted, and between floors in central bay is coat of arms of the Earl of Holderness (azure crusilly with 3 cinquefoils argent), with swags. On ground floor in third bay a French window; on ground floor in eighth and ninth bays a C15 four-centred arched gateway inside which is ashlar masonry with masons' marks; barrel vault interrupted by rebated gateway with gate hooks; to left and right, matching basket-arched doorways with continuous roll and hollow moulding, the left one blocked, the right one with "IS 1754" inscribed on jamb. C18 lead rainwater head and pipe between third and fourth bays. Turret rises above first bay. To right, C15 tower: plinth. On ground floor, hollow-chamfered window of 4 round-arched lights with stanchions and hoodmould with heraldic devices on stops; on first floor, C18 sash windows with glazing bars with ogee-headed top lights in keyed architraves; between first and second floors 2 gargoyle-like grotesques; on second floor, hollow- chamfered window of 3 lights with hoodmould; string with corner gargoyles and crenellated parapets to lead roof. To right, diagonal stepped buttress has circular panel with a slipped trefoil leaf. Right return of tower: external chimney stack on ground and first floors, and on either side of it on both floors a sash window with glazing bars in double-chamfered surround with hoodmould; on second floor a 2-light window with hoodmould with decorative stops

To right of tower, single-storey crenellated screen wall representing outer wall of C18 east wing, with semicircular bay containing.3 window openings with hoodmoulds. Left return of south range: 4 bays of C20 windows of paired lights in ashlar surrounds, and to left, blocked C18 window and lead rainwater head and pipe. Crenellated screen wall represents continuation of C18 west wing, with 2 blocked bays. Screen wall returns further to west with blocked ground-floor windows. Courtyard elevation of south range shows 3 bays to be of C15 date, with 4-pane window on ground floor; first-floor 8-pane sash window in pointed-arched opening and hollow- chamfered window of 2 round-arched lights with hoodmould with armorial devices; two C18 lead rainwater heads and pipes. Interior: ground-floor room to left of gatehouse is barrel vaulted. South range has, in roof space, C18 Roman Doric frieze. First-floor room of tower, said to have been the Duke of Leeds' bedroom, has fielded panel shutters and doors, and acanthus ceiling of c1800. The C18 ranges, which formed a courtyard, were demolished c1927 when the south range was remodelled internally and a late C14 north-west tower, known as St Quintin's Tower after the medieval family which occupied the castle, was demolished. The old principal entrance, an early C16 enriched 3-centred arched doorway, was removed and has since been preserved in the Burrell Museum in Glasgow. (Listed Building Report)

Built 14th century, altered late 15th century and much altered circa 1800. Recently drastically reduced in size and most Md features destroyed. Late Georgian S range incorporates original 15/16th century archway to courtyard; some early 16th century windows incorporated in keep. (PastScape ref. Pevsner)

Gatehouse Comments

Currently (2017), and for the previous few years been undergoing excavation and building recording. Interim reports, mainly concerning the 'pleasaunce' and its associated buildings are interesting and are increasing the understanding of this otherwise little known castle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE225937
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  • Erik Matthews, 2016 Sept, 'Hornby Castle, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire 2016' Castle Studies Group Bulletin No. 22 p. 4-5 online copy
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