Birdsedge Castle Hill

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameBirdsedge Castle Hill
Alternative NamesCastle Hill, Denby Common
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityKirklees
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishDenby Dale

The clear remains of defensive banking survive on W. and S.W. side of a roughly oval enclosure ploughed out to N and E and quarried away to S. "Undatable" (WYAAS), though British remains found nearby. Patch suggest use (reuse if orig. IA) as D'day 'vaccaria' or 'cattle camp' of Denby, i.e. a protective stock enclosure. Both 1st OS and Morehouse (KB, P4) plan indicate largish oval feature, now lost, at NW corner of, but slightly separate from, enclosure, just possibly a ringwork. 1st OS also locates the name Castle Hill a little further N. on higher ground N. of Windmill Lane around, SE201072, where the late J Hurst recalled other earthworks now quarried away, an inner bank near highest point and encircling outer bank on lower slope. (Sneyd 1995)

The late prehistoric enclosed settlement on Castle Hill survives well and contributes to the body of knowledge relating to late prehistoric settlement and land use in northern England.

The monument includes a late prehistoric enclosed settlement, situated on Denby Common, on the south side of Windmill Lane, at the south edge of a plateau. The enclosure survives as an upstanding earthwork on the south west and west sides. On the south west side this takes the form of a substantial bank, following the top of the natural scarp. Because of this scarp, the bank is about 0.6m high on its north east side, but has a drop of approximately 4m on its south west side. There are several small quarry holes at the base of this slope, which obscure any evidence for a ditch. The west side of the enclosure is formed by a bank approximately 10m wide and 0.3m high, with an external ditch about 5m wide and up to 0.3m deep. The upstanding remains of the rest of the enclosure have been flattened by ploughing in the past, but the edges of the enclosure are just traceable as a slight break of slope on the north side and a very faint bank on the east side. The south side of the enclosure is marked by the edge of the scarp

During fieldwalking in the 1970s approximately 90 Neolithic flints were found. This suggests that the site may have earlier prehistoric antecedents. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The suggestion of a ringwork seems to be Sneyd's alone. The location is not consistent with a ringwork.

- 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 ReferenceSE204069
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 6
  • Faull, M.L. and Moorhouse, S.A., 1981, West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey to AD1500 (Wakefield)
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1912, VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 7
  • Morehouse, H.J., 1861, History of the Parish of Kirkburton and the Graveship of Holme p. 4


  • Preston, F.L., 1954, 'Hill Forts of the Peak' Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 74 p. 15 online copy