Watch Hill mote-hill

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NameWatch Hill mote-hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishBurgh By Sands

Watch Hill, and Skew Hill, approach very closely to the less distinct forms of mote-hill. (VCH 1901)

Gatehouse Comments

Collingwood was writing at a time when many thought mottes were Saxon and therefore were pre-Conquest earthworks although castle studies writers seem to have ignored his chapter in the VCH. The information given by Collingwood in the VCH, where he is suggesting a number of possible mottes, is scant. Watch Hill is a fairly ubiquitous place name but this may be Watch Hill at Burgh by Sands where the Cumbrian HER records an unclassified cropmark at the given map reference although Collingwood may actually have been referring a collapsed mile castle, which may have had some medieval use as a base for a residential tower (see Burgh by Sands Towers of Andrew the Chaplain and Radulph Wallensis). Regardless, the fact no other castle studies writer has identified this site is significant and it can be rejected.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY313597
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  • Collingwood, W.G., 1901, 'Remains of the pre-Norman Period' in H.Arthur Doubleday (ed), VCH Cumberland Vol. 1 p. 293 online copy
  • Nicholson, J. and Burn, B., 1777, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland (London) Vol. 2 p. 222 online copy