Hornsea Hermitage

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are uncertain remains

NameHornsea Hermitage
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityEast Riding of Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishHornsea

Site of a possible motte. (PastScape ref. King, 1983)

Gatehouse Comments

Shown as a steep mound, on northern edge of Hornsea Mere, on 1854 map labled 'Hermitage'. Actually a low mound but part of a larger raised area of lumpy ground with some suggestion of infilled ditches. The site was excavated over 5 days by school children in 1962. The report in a school magazine reports finds of plaster and wooden building 28' x 18' with a hard packed mud floor. How much of the site could be excavated in 5 days? Probably the found building was part of a larger complex. Although granted to St Marys Abbey York, soon after the Conquest, Hornsea was an important possession for the house and usually had a man of rank for its seneschal. The mere, in particular, was a source of revenue from fish and fowl. Was this motte like mound a form of 'hunting lodge' for the mere, a house of some status for the seneschal and a safe place to store revenue from the mere?

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTA186473
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Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 531 (possible)
  • Allison, K.J., 1976, East Riding of Yorkshire Landscape p. 93
  • Poulson, G., 1841, The History and Antiquities of the Seigniory of Holderness Vol. 1 p. 12, 16, 19, 21, 314-40


  • 1962, 'The Hermitage?' The Beacon Magazine of Hornsea County Secondary School


  • Constable, Christopher, 2003, Aspects of the archaeology of the castle in the north of England C 1066-1216 (Doctoral thesis, Durham University) Available at Durham E-Theses Online