Bilton Swan Hill

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBilton Swan Hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityEast Riding of Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishBilton

Swan Hill motte. It includes a raised earthen motte enclosed by a single dry moat. The motte is 1.5m high, and 20m in diameter at its base. It has a flattened summit 13m in diameter. The summit of the mound is uneven and shows some signs of disturbance. The moat which encloses the motte is 15m wide and 2m deep, with a flat bottom 3m wide. Limited excavations were undertaken in the 1940's on the summit of the motte by the owner. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Quite what function this small motte could have served may be questioned. It may have had a small defensible dwelling on it or have been almost purely symbolic. Clearly, however, the main medieval manorial residence was where the current house is adjacent to the church and this probably dates back to Saxon times. The church itself is next to a large spring suggesting the medieval chapel (The medieval parish church was at Swine) was founded next to a pre-Christian spiritual site.

- 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 ReferenceTA156325
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Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • Kent, G.H.R., 2002, 'Middle division: Bilton' VCH Yorkshire: East Riding Vol. 7 p. 123-28 online transcription
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 21
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 513
  • Loughlin, Neil and Miller, Keith, 1979, A survey of archaeological sites in Humberside carried out for the Humberside Joint Archaeological Committee p. 50
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p. 110


  • 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
  • English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 7/10/93