Wressle Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are major building remains

NameWressle Castle
Alternative NamesWressill; Wreshil; Wresill
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityEast Riding of Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishWressle

Remains of a moated quadrangular castle constructed 1380-90 for Sir Henry Percy, it fell into decay by 1537 and was largely demolished in 1650 by an act of parliament, except for the south range, which was occupied until 1796. The medieval moat survives as an earthwork, with some ruins of the castle still standing. Another moat lies to the north of the first moat, originally visible as an earthwork, but levelled and visible as a cropmark on later photography. There is some suggestion of internal features within the moated enclosure. The precise square form of this moated enclosure suggests it is a formal garden moat and terraced area. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The south range, of two three storey towers and a intervening two storey hall range, survives to full height but is unroofed. It is clearly of totally domestic character. There is nothing to suggest the rest of the castle was significantly different in design. The presence of moated gardens show this was very much a country retreat for the Percy's easily accessible from the navigable River Derwent. The ruins are just visible from the road but are not open to the public. Despite not generally being open to the public the excellent paper 2011 by Peter Brears and 2015 survey by Ed Dennison and Shaun Richardson of the surrounding landscape now given an excellent insight into this late medieval castle and its function as a stately home to one of the great noble families of England.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceSE706315
Latitude53.7754096984863
Longitude-0.929120004177094
Eastings470680
Northings431540
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Richard Stephenson All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Stephenson All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Stephenson All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Stephenson All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Stephenson All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Stephenson All Rights Reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved

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.

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Books

  • Anthony Emery, 2016, Seats of power in Europe during the Hundred Years War: an architectural study from 1330 to 1480 (Oxbow Books) p. 55-62
  • Brears, Peter, 2011, 'The Administrative Role of Gatehouses in Fourteenth-Century North-Country Castles' in Airs, M. and Barnwell, P.S. (eds), The Medieval Great House (Donington: Shaun Tyas) p. 200-213
  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 23, 330-1, 409
  • Hislop, M., 2007, John Lewyn of Durham: a medieval mason in practice (Oxford: John and Erica Hedges: British Archaeological Reports British Series 438)
  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) p. 250
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 112-3
  • Ingham, Bernard, 2001, Bernard Ingham's Yorkshire Castles (Dalesman) p. 88-9
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 301
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 414
  • Williams, Alison, 1996, 'Castles and moated sites' in Neave, Susan and Ellis, Stephen, An Historical Atlas of East Yorkshire (University of Hull Press) p. 32-3
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 282
  • Neave, Susan, 1991, Medieval Parks of East Yorkshire (Univeristy of Hull) p. 33, 54-5
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 528
  • Ryder, P.F., 1982 (paperback edn 1992), The Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire (Ash Grove Book) p. 87-107
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 230
  • Loughlin, Neil and Miller, Keith, 1979, A survey of archaeological sites in Humberside carried out for the Humberside Joint Archaeological Committee p. 45
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p. 6, 117
  • Pevsner N., 1972, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding (London)
  • Illingworth, J.L., 1938 (republished 1970), Yorkshire's Ruined Castles (Wakefield) p. 144-5
  • Morris, J.E., 1932, The East Riding of Yorkshire p. 358
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 275-7 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 212-3 online copy
  • Grainge, W., 1855, Castles and Abbeys of Yorkshire p. 208-14 online copy
  • Savage, 1805, History of the Castle and Parish of Wressle (London)
  • Grose, Francis, 1785 (new edn orig 1756), Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 6 p. 164-71 online copy

Antiquarian

  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 538-9, 568
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 52-3 online copy

Journals

  • Shaun Richardson and Ed Dennison, 2014-15, 'Wressle Castle, East Yorkshire: Gardens Survey Interim Summary' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 28 p. 190-98
  • < >Brears, Peter, 2011, 'Wressle Castle: Functions, Fixtures and Furnishings for Henry Percy 'The Magnificent' fifth Earl of Northumberland, 1498-1527' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 167 p. 55-114 < >
  • Wales, Wendy, 1998, 'Wressle Castle' Yorkshire History Quarterley Vol. 4.2 p. 45-47
  • Neave, D., 1984, 'Wressle Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 141 p 58-60
  • Bilson, J., 1913, 'Proceedings in 1912, Wressle Castle' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 22 p. 182-93
  • Bilson, J., 1900, 'Wressle Castle and Bubwith Church' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 15 p. 503-4 online copy
  • 1891, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 11 p. 483 online copy
  • 1889, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 10 p. 314-5 (Leland's Itinerary) online copy
  • 1881, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 38 p. 341

Primary Sources

  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 503
  • T.P. (ed), 1770, The regulations and establishment of the household of Henry Algernon Percy, the fifth Earl of Northumberland, at his castles of Wresill and Lekinfield in Yorkshire, begun anno Domini M.D.XII. online copy
  • Martin, M.T. (ed), 1911 for 1909, The Percy Chartulary (Surtees Society 117) 215, 216online copy
  • 1903, 'Humberstone's Survey' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 17 p. 129-154 esp. 144-6 (Survey of 1570) online copy
  • SC11/959 (Survey of 1538) The National Archives reference

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk Yorkshire Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. vi, online copy
  • < >Shaun Richardson & Ed Dennison, 2015 Feb, Garden and other earthworks, south of Wressle Castle, Wressle, East Yorkshire (Ed Dennison Archaeological Services Ltd) online copy < > (rather more than just garden earthworks)
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 2 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 2 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 17 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 27 online copy
  • Humble, Elizabeth, 2003, Yorkshire Courtyard Castles c. 1360-1420: Ambitions and Anxieties (Univ of York)
  • Fisher, E.J., 1954, Some Yorkshire estates of the Percies 1450-1650 (PhD Thesis Leeds University)