Maurholme Manor

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameMaurholme Manor
Alternative NamesWharton; Morhull; Mirhull; Mourholme; Merhull; Halstead; Halsteads; Dock Acres Farm
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityLancashire
1974 AuthorityLancashire
Civil ParishWarton

Alleged sites of a motte and bailey castle, manor house and Maurholme Park. Excavations in 1975 revealed that most of the site had been quarried away and all that was found was C13-C14 pottery and a gold ring mounted with an uncut diamond. (PastScape)

The site of the Castle of Merhull and manor house of Maurholme had been identified with an island-type feature south of Dock Acres. At one corner of the island there is a circular mound and at there is an irregular oval known as Halsteads. Only the traces of a mortared rubble wall surround these two features, but on one side of mound at a lower level, are foundations of an extensively robbed freestone wall set in mortar. The castle of Merhull, whose keep may be identified with mound, was surrendered by Gilbert Fitz Reinfred to King John in 1216 (Rot Cart AD 1216 Memb 2 in dorso). The manor house of Maurholme, mentioned about 1246 and last recorded circa 1435, seems to have stood on or near the freestone wall enclosing area.

Renn interpreted Floyer's alleged castle site as a "much altered motte and bailey with retaining walls". (Floyer; Renn).

A park at Maurholme existed long before 1340 (The field names Little Park and Great Park are shown on Floyer's plan at SD 513725) (VCH).

The "island" feature shown on Floyer's plan is visible on OS air photographs, but no trace of the alleged motte and bailey castle or manor house site can be seen (APs (OS/68/188 169-71 9.6.68)).

Continuing excavation on the site of Mourholme Manor, revealed but mostly destroyed during gravel extraction in 1975. The edge of the gravel mound on which the manor had been situated was examined, all structural remains had been quarried away. 13th to 14th century pottery and a gold ring mounted with an uncut diamond accord with documentary evidence for the date of the occupation of the manor (Med. Arch. 21). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Castle was mentioned as Morhull' in 1216. Manor was held 'by the fourth part of a knight's fee and the service of 20d. for ward of Lancaster Castle' (VCH) in 1324. Site was damaged before being submerged so suggestion this was a motte and bailey not entirely certain but probably correct, although not a strong castle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSD515724
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

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  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 110
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Lancashire and Cheshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 36
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 249, Vol. 2 p. 564
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 199
  • Farrer, William and Brownbill, J. (eds), 1914, VCH Lancashire Vol. 8 p. 162 online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Farrer, W., 1902, Lancashire Pipe Rolls and Early Lancashire Charters (Liverpool) p. 258n1 online copy
  • Whitaker, T.D., 1823, A History of Richmondshire in the North Riding of the County of York (London) Vol. 2 p. 290-2 online copy


  • 1978, Lancashire Archaeological Journal Vol. 1
  • Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1977, 'Medieval Britain in 1976' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 21 p. 252 online 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)
  • Floyer, J.K., 1906-7, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London Vol. 21 p. 413-419
  • Sharpe, 1868, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 25 p. 343 online copy
  • Hutchinson, William, 1789, 'Account of antiquities in Lancashire. In a letter to George Allan, Esq. From William Hutchinson, Esq.' Archaeologia Vol. 9 p. 217 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Farrer, Wm (ed), 1902, Lancashire Pipe Rolls and Early Lancashire Charters (Liverpool) p. 258 online copy
  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1835, Rotuli de oblatis et finibus in Turri Londinensi asservati (Record Commission) p. 571 online copy
  • Farrer, Wm (ed), 1907, Lancashire Inquests, Ertents, and Feudal Aids Part II 1310-1333 (Record Society for the Publication of Original Documents relating to Lancashire and Cheshire) p. 164-5 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1927, Calendar of Charter Rolls 5 Henry VI - 8 Henry VIII, AD 1427-1516, with an appendix, 1215-1288 Vol. 6. (HMSO) p. 221


  • 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