New Malton Town Defences

Has been described as a Possible Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameNew Malton Town Defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishMalton

The town was once surrounded by walls, their course being now marked by the parish boundary. The four gates were in the keeping of the burgesses. The walls probably determined the shape of the market-place; this lies between Yorkersgate (York house gate, 1784) and Wheelgate, which is connected with Old Malton gate by Greengate. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

The VCH source is a possibly C15 transcription/translation supposedly from an original roll in which the Burgesses are granted a 'wast' to get stone and build a wall with four doors and gates. This does not necessarily mean that walls were built although as the town was to keep the 'proffettes of ye sayd walles' gates for collection tolls are much more likely and the town has several gate street names (although some or all of these may be derived from the Danish gata meaning 'road' rather than actually from gates). The lack of remains and the lack of other early references to walls does suggest that if walls were built they were slight and soon lost. However the borough would almost certainly have had its boundary marked in some way, probably by a ditch.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE785717
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  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 72, 268
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 58
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 534
  • Robinson, J.F., 1978, The Archaeology of Malton and Norton (Yorkshire Archaeological Society)
  • Barley, M.W., 1975, 'Town Defences in England and Wales after 1066' in Barley (ed) The plans and topography of medieval towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14) p. 57-71 download/view online
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1914, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 1 p. 529 online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co) p. 233-4


  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86

Primary Sources

  • Raine, James (ed), 1890, 'Customs and liberties of the burgesses of New Malton' A Volume of English Miscellanies illustrating the History and Language of the Northern Counties of England (Surtees Society 85) p. 58 online copy