Kildale Hall Garth

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameKildale Hall Garth
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishKildale

Medieval manor house complex which lies to the west of St Cuthbert's Church, 400m north west of Kildale village. The manor house is situated in the bottom of the dale on a natural knoll close to the south bank of the River Leven. A deep cutting containing the Whitby to Middlesborough railway line now runs at the southern edge of the knoll. The knoll is oval in plan, measuring 90m long by 60m wide, and rises up to 7m from the bottom of a natural depression which appears to form a 'moat' around it. Partial excavation of the eastern end of the knoll in the 1960s revealed the foundations of a substantial stone building, measuring 14m long by 8m wide, which included a malting kiln. Also recorded were stone and timber reveted ditches at the foot of the hill, fragments of a Saxon cross, stone troughs and medieval pottery. Some of the stone foundations are still visible on the top and at the eastern edge of the hill. Further buried remains will survive beneath the 19th century houses which occupy the southern part of the knoll and also on the western part, although this has been altered by arable cultivation. The surrounding depression is deepest at the north east, where the ground falls towards the River Leven, and a 4m wide ditch was excavated in this area. At least two rectangular building platforms, between 15 and 20m across, are visible at the foot of the scarp on the north side of the depression. Along the north edge of the site, about 30m from the top of the knoll, a wall of limestone blocks bedded in clay lies beneath the present hedge; it is the foundation of a boundary predating the hedge; a 20m stretch of dry stone walling at the eastern end is modern. The adjacent church also stands on higher ground and, to the east of the manor house site, the depression has a more artificial appearance, forming a broad ditch 20m wide and about 3m deep

To the west of the knoll, the depression is shallower, broader, generally less distinct and is not thought to retain much accumulation of archaeological deposits. To the south the depression has been destroyed by the railway cutting. The presence of Viking settlement in the vicinity is attested by the discovery of Danish burials during the rebuilding of the church in 1868. At Domesday, Kildale was in the hands of the king but very soon afterwards it came into the possession of Robert de Brus, the seat of whose power lay at the nearby fortress at Castleton. For many generations the manor was held by the Percys of Kildale. By 1508 the manor had been sold to the Earls of Northumberland who held it in their turn until the reign of Charles I. A 17th century map of the manor clearly shows the manor house to the west of the church and, although the original house was superseded by the nearby Kildale Hall in the 19th century, the boundaries of the estate have remained largely unaltered. Although previously identified as the site of a Norman castle, there is no evidence that the manor house was fortified. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Alleged motte rejected by King as a natural hillock with no defences. History given in Illingworth. Salter describes excavation in 1961 finding ashlar walls on summit of motte. Area has been altered by railway cutting. Location entirely consistent with a castle or manorial center. Jackson also reports this as a castle. However, on 1856 6" OS it is marked as moat and Jean le Patourel describes in his gazetteer as 'Percy manor partly excavated by R. Close showing heavy masonry and tracery in upper levels. moat revetted. On natural rise. House on island.' A castle of the Percy's recorded at Kildare by Camden. It's difficult to see an alternative site for the Percy castle, unless Easby Motte. One of many manor houses and castles built on the edge of the North Yorks Moors in a location which gives access to hunting on the Moors but with income from the richer agricultural lands of the surrounding low lands. Many of these rich manors are either castles or built with some fortifications.

- 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 ReferenceNZ603095
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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

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Latitude 54° 28' 39.65" Longitude -1° 4' 12.68"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 54° 28' 39.65" Longitude -1° 4' 12.68"

View full Sized Image

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  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) passim
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 50
  • Jackson, M.J., 2001, Castles of North Yorkshire (Carlisle) p. 34-5
  • Ingham, Bernard, 2001, Bernard Ingham's Yorkshire Castles (Dalesman) p. 19
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 533 (reject)
  • Spratt, D.A. (ed), 1979, The Archaeology of Cleveland (Middlesbrough Borough Council) p. 51
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p. 119
  • Illingworth, J.L., 1938 (republished 1970), Yorkshire's Ruined Castles (Wakefield)
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1923, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 2 p. 249-51 online transcription
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 48
  • Whellan T, 1859, History and topography of the city of York and the North Riding of Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 744 online copy



  • 1971, Transactions of the Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 14
  • 1970, Transactions of the Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 13
  • 1969, Transactions of the Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 12
  • 1969, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 42 p. 243
  • Close, R., 1962/3, 'Medieval Britain in 1961' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 6-7 p. 338 download copy
  • I'Anson, W.M., 1913, 'The castles of the North Riding' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 22 p. 357-9


  • Constable, Christopher, 2003, Aspects of the archaeology of the castle in the north of England C 1066-1216 (Doctoral thesis, Durham University) Available at Durham E-Theses Online
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 149, 155, 160-1, 601-2 online copy