Mirfield Castle Hall Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameMirfield Castle Hall Hill
Alternative NamesMerhall
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityKirklees
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishMirfield

Castle Hall Hill motte and bailey castle is situated adjacent to the nineteenth century parish church of St.Mary in Mirfield. The bailey is occupied by the church and its graveyard, both of which are in current ecclesiastical use, and this area is not at present included in the scheduling. The motte, which would have carried a timber keep, is a conical mound c.10m high and with a diameter of c.20m surrounded by a ditch c.8m wide and 5m deep. On the east side the ditch is divided by a causeway which joined the motte to the bailey where ancillary and garrison buildings would have stood along with pens for stock and horses. The castle was built between 1086 and 1159 either by Svein son of Alric or by Adam his son. Its purpose was to oversee some of the estates of the Honour of Pontefract of which these two men were successively the most powerful knights. After Adam's death without male heirs in 1159, the estate was divided and the castle reduced in status. It was not abandoned, however, and was known as the castle of Mirfield throughout the Middle Ages. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Cleared of trees in spring 2012. The motte appears to be constructed of roughly dumped course stone rubble but is, nevertheless, steep sided. The C19 parish church by Gilbert Scott stands in the bailey but the tower of the original medieval church survives and stand nearby but just outside the line of the castle's bailey. The is a strong local tradition this was the site of an Anglo-Saxon Hall.

- 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 ReferenceSE211204
Latitude53.6800384521484
Longitude-1.68192005157471
Eastings421100
Northings420440
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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
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

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

  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) p. 243
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 63
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 310 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 522
  • Faull, M.L. and Moorhouse, S.A., 1981, West Yorkshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500 (West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council) Vol. 2 p. 455-8
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 356
  • Illingworth, J.L., 1938 (republished 1970), Yorkshire's Ruined Castles (Wakefield) p. 129
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 21-2
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)

Journals

  • Constable, Chris, 2006, 'Earthwork castles in West Yorkshire' Archaeology and Archives in West Yorkshire Vol. 23 p. 5-6 online copy
  • Speight, Sarah, 2004, ''Religion in the Bailey: Charters, Chapels and the Clergy' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 21 p. 271-80
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 215 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Yorkshire Inquisitions 62 p. 22

Other

  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 133 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 124 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 124 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 132 online copy
  • 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