Hoylandswaine 'Castle Hill'

Has been described as a Rejected Uncertain

There are uncertain remains

NameHoylandswaine 'Castle Hill'
Alternative NamesHoyland Swaine; Le Castlehill
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityBarnsley
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishPenistone

Hoylandswaine Castle Hill is where two puzzling, and apparently quite independent, references converge. PNWR sources the fieldname LE CASTLE HILL to a 1614 Wharncliffe Estate document concerning the complaint of "meerstones" (the parish boundary markers) being forcibly moved by Cawthorne man, though several careful readings of the document at Sheffield archives did not remove the reference to that name. CAT HILL, however, is mentioned. The other source is Fletcher (p4) "there are two Hoyland Swain (900ft) on the south; and Castle Hill (1039ft) on the north:... Castle Hill was originally the side of a forest peel or strong tower erected there by the lords of the soil for the better protection of their game preserves. A little distant from it... is Cannon Hall" Here as elsewhere in p4, Fletcher is very vague, but as he refers separately to Castle Hill, Upper Denby, it is clearly not that site (aka Birdsedge/High Flatts) he means. Aside from CAT HILL (SE 246 052) which is similar in name though lower and not N. of Hoylandswaine, but W., Deffer Hill, NNW of H'swaine and NW Cannon Hall, or other minor summits N. and NW-H'swaine, could possibly be the source of his description. (Deffer Hill SE 256 092). Hill Top, NE H'swaine at SE 271 054, is, interestingly, just N. of the later Manor House. (Sneyd 1995)

Gatehouse Comments

Given map reference, given for connivence only, is for Hoylandswaine parish church of St John the Evangelist (This is a C19 church -the medieval parish church was in Penistone). The lost, but presumably cultivatable, field name reported in Smith (1961) and Fletchers 1059ft hill (above the cultivatable contour) are unlikely to be the same place. The Castlehill field may have been part of the manorial demense. It is difficult to see any hill in the vicinity of Hoylandswaine that is over 1000ft high, and even more so for High Hoyland, which is the Hoyland near Cannon Hall elsewhere it could not be that site Birdsedge is of the opinion it is a reference to that site which, while not quite on the hill top does lie at about 1050ft high. However the whole issue is as clear as mud. Rejected as a medieval fortified site, despite Fletchers supposition, on the bases of a lack of any reliable evidence.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE259052
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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 12
  • Smith, A.H., 1961, The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Part 1: Lower and Upper Strafforth and Staincross Wapentakes (English Place-name Society 30.1)
  • Fletcher, J.S., 1900, A Picturesque History of Yorkshire (London: J.M. Dent) Vol. ? p. 4