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

There are earthwork remains

Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishScrayingham

Although much of the medieval settlement of Leppington lies beneath the houses and gardens of the modern village, the monument includes the earthworks of the moated manor house, the site of the former parish church, and trackways and tofts, which are visible in the fields to the east of Manor Farm. Further evidence of the medieval field system and trackways has been observed in fields to the north and east of the monument and also to the west of the present village; however, these remains are not well preserved and have not been included in the scheduling. The moated site, formerly known as 'Leppington Castle', is roughly oval in plan. The moated island measures 55m by 35m across and will contain the buried foundations of the medieval manor house which once stood there. The island is surrounded by a ditch which is 10m wide and, although partially infilled on the western and southern arms, it is up to 1.5m deep on the eastern arm. The entrance to the island is on the north side where the ditch is less deep and the inner scarp slopes up gradually towards the interior. The southern arm of the ditch is almost completely infilled but is visible as a boggy area and survives as a buried feature. On this side the surface of the island is built up to about 2m above the surrounding land surface. A silage clamp has recently been constructed on the west side of the moated site and overlies the infilled ditch which will survive below ground. St Helen's Church was originally that of the medieval parish of Leppington. A decline in population during and after the medieval period meant that Leppington was no longer viable as a parish in its own right and was eventually absorbed into Scrayingham parish. However, St Helen's continued in use as a chapel-of-ease until the beginning of the 20th century, being rebuilt in 1803 and restored in 1870, at the joint expense of Lady Mary G Vyner, lady of the manor, and the rector of Scrayingham

The chapel-of-ease fell into ruin and was finally demolished in about 1980. The site of the church is now visible as a raised rectangular platform, 16m long by 14m wide, which lies 20m to the north-east of the moated site. Although nothing of the structure is visible above ground level, the foundations of the medieval church will survive despite the 19th-century rebuilding. The cemetery was located adjacent to the church, in a triangle of land bounded to the south and north by medieval trackways (described below), and to the east by the existing field boundary which is probably medieval in origin. Including the church, this triangle measures 60m by 20m across. A medieval trackway runs east from the main road, past the northern edge of the moated site and into the field south of the church. The trackway still exists as a pedestrian right of way, which continues south-eastwards for about 0.75km to join the Acklam road, and is visible within the area of the monument as a hollow way about 10m wide. A second medieval trackway diverges from the first and runs due east, north of the church. This is visible as a hollow way up to 20m wide and may have been a droveway leading ultimately to springs in Leppington Wood. On the north side of the droveway are three medieval enclosures, divided by shallow 5m wide ditches. These are small fields or tofts associated with smallholdings to the rear of the village. The southern ends of these tofts, south of the modern field boundary and adjacent to the medieval trackways, will contain the below-ground remains of medieval buildings. The southern edge of the monument, south of the moated site, includes part of the 0.3m-high bank, a medieval field boundary which continues into the adjacent field where it originally formed a boundary or 'land' between rows of medieval arable field strips. The line of this boundary is also retained by a modern boundary to the south of Manor Farm. At Domesday, the manor of Leppington was held by the Count of Moretain, later passing to the Melsa, or Meaux, family and subsequently to the Coreys. In 1626 a Corey was created Baron Corey of Leppington, although the title became extinct in 1661. The original moated manor house was presumably abandoned in the post-medieval period when a new house was built on the site of Manor Farm. The amalgamation of the parishes of Scrayingham and Leppington prior to 1803 has already been mentioned and by 1941 Scrayingham with Leppington was also under the ministry of the rector of Long Sutton. (Scheduling Report)

Low damaged mound of possible castle. (King)

Gatehouse Comments

This is certainly the site of a moated manor house although how fortified it was is an open question. David King tended to use the term 'possible' for sites about which he had considerable doubt.

- 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 ReferenceSE764611
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 531 (possible)
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 45


  • 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. 606 online copy