Bakewell Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBakewell Castle Hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryDerbyshire
Modern AuthorityDerbyshire
1974 AuthorityDerbyshire
Civil ParishBakewell

Castle Hill had been thought to be the site of the burh of Edward the Elder documented in 902. However, excavations between 1969 and 1971 found no evidence of occupation on the site prior to the Conquest. The site rather represents a motte and bailey, possibly with intermittent occupation. (PastScape)

Preliminary investigation by M. Swanton of the Castle Hill earthwork popularly identified with Edward the Elder's burh of 923 indicated a construction of two periods. Some time during the 12th century a 'motte' had been erected to strengthen a rubble rampart (probably square in plan) of earlier but undetermined date. (Med. Arch.)

Gatehouse Comments

Unusually in being some distance from the church and other side of river from village. It may be that the geographical restrictions limited the sites available for the castle for a lord without either the power of will to destroy houses in the village. The VCH suggests that the inhabitants of the village were mainly Danish. Therefore, the Saxon centre of administration might have developed after the village had been built and been pushed out to the edge, The motte is clearly Norman but I wonder if the site does occupy a small thegnal burh (of a sort not looked for by the earlier investigators. see also Bakewell Burh). (NB., since writing this early in 2010 I've read Davies-Pyrce's 1904 critic of Ella Armitage's work where he makes much the same point, although, I believe wrongly, attributing the motte to the Saxons. - Philip Davis 12-7-2010)

- 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 ReferenceSK221687
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 14
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 52 (slight)
  • Smith, Michael E., 1992, Castles and Manor Houses in and around Derbyshire (Derby)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 108
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  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 97
  • Stenton, Frank Merry; edited by Doris Mary Stenton, 1970, Preparatory to Anglo-Saxon England being the collected papers of Frank Merry Stenton Vol. 1943 p. 330-32
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 47 online copy
  • Cox, J.C., 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Derbyshire Vol. 1 p. 376 online copy
  • Armitage, Ella S., 1905, A key to English antiquites with special reference to the Sheffield and Rotherham district (London: J.M. Dent and Co) p. 56-7 online copy


  • Speight, Sarah, 2008, 'Castles as Past Culture: Living with Castles in the Post-Medieval World' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 23 p. 385-94 (slight)
  • Swanton, M.J., 1972, 'Castle Hill, Bakewell' Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 92 p. 16-26
  • (Swanton), 1970, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 14 p. 175 download copy
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • Davies Pyrce, T., 1905, 'The Alleged Norman Origin of 'Castles' in England' English Historical Review Vol. 20 p. 707 online copy
  • Armitage, Ella, 1905, 'The Alleged Norman Origin of 'Castles' in England' English Historical Review Vol. 20 p. 714 online copy


  • Dave Barrett, Gill Stroud, 2009, Extensive Urban Survey - Derbyshire (English Heritage) Download copy