Stainborough Castle

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork), and also as a Possible Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameStainborough Castle
Alternative NamesStainborough Low; Stainborough Lowe; Staynbroughe Lowe
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityBarnsley
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishStainborough

It is suggested that an IA hillfort was reused as a medieval ring work or motte, which in turn was flattened and utilised as the site of the mock castle folly of Stainborough Castle. Trial excavations in 1962 and at other times in the 1960's excavated a ditch in which IA pottery and ME flint were found, but no conclusions could be drawn as to the history of the site. A Court Roll of 1613 refers to a castle called 'Staynbroughe Lowe' as in ruins, which could suggest a stone structure. Nearby Wentworth Castle was constructed on the site of Stainborough Old Hall; was this itself a replacement for an earlier castle?

Gatehouse Comments

As with some other sites the obvious nature of the folly may have blinded some castle studies authors to the possibility of an actual medieval castle here. However the evidence for a medieval castle is slight and open to other interpretation.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE315030
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) p. 248
  • Hogg, A.H.A., 1979, British hillforts: an index (British Archaeological Reports British Series 62) p. 143
  • Elgee, Frank and Wragg, Harriet, 1933, The Archaeology of Yorkshire p. 118
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 10


  • Ashurst, Denis, 1991, 'Stainborough Lowe' Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society Vol. 16 p. 33-
  • Birch, J., 1981, 'Stainborough Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 137 p. 448-9
  • Birch, J., 1981, 'The castles and fortified houses of South Yorkshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 137 p. 374-6
  • Preston, F.L., 1954, Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 74 p. 14


  • Humphrey, J.E., 1982, 'A Prospect of Stainborough', unpub. thesis, Sheffield, p. 334-5 also appendix 27