Wrangle Kings Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameWrangle Kings Hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityLincolnshire
1974 AuthorityLincolnshire
Civil ParishWrangle

The remains of the motte and bailey castle known as King's Hill survive well as a series of substantial earthworks which have been little altered since medieval times. Partial waterlogging in the area of the moat will preserve organic remains, such as leather and wood, which will provide an additional insight into domestic and agricultural activities on the site. Situated in the fenland, the monument is rare in being one of very few earthwork sites surviving from the medieval period. The remains are characteristic of a historical period in which expansion into the fen was achieved through manorial complexes of this type, and they will preserve valuable evidence for the way in such complexes were established in a distinctive ecological and economic environment, and how they functioned within the wider medieval landscape.

The monument includes King's Hill, the remains of a motte and bailey castle which served as the centre of a local manor. It is believed to be associated with a manorial estate which was established in the 11th and 12th centuries and belonged, in the 13th and 14th centuries, to the earls of Lincoln. In the early 17th century the estate passed to James I, and the remains of the castle subsequently became known as King's Hill.

The remains take the form of a series of substantial earthworks located in the fenland approximately 2.5km north west of St Mary and St Nicholas' Church.

In the northern part of the monument is the motte, a large earthen mound of approximately circular plan, measuring about 60m in diameter and standing about 2m above the surrounding ground level. On the top of the mound, which is flat in profile, are the earthwork remains of a series of structures ranged around the west, north and east sides of a shallow central depression or yard

The mound is encircled by a steep-sided ditch about 2m in depth which represents the remains of a moat.

Adjacent and to the south of the motte are the remains of a bailey, also moated, which measures about 60m north-south and 70m east-west and stands about 1m high. The bailey includes a further series of building platforms, also ranged around a yard. The bailey would have been the site of the domestic and agricultural buildings of the manor, including stables and barns.

Adjacent to the north are the remains of a small ditched enclosure, one of a series formerly surrounding the castle which would have included gardens, orchards and paddocks. (Scheduling Report)

The site is one of the most impressive in the Lincolnshire fenland, although the size of the scheduled pasture today is much less than the area of earthworks visible at the beginning of this century. Fortunately the larger complex was recorded on the first 6" to one mile Ordnance Survey maps as well as by the Rev. E. A. Downman when he visited the area in 1911. There are minor features which vary between the different surveys. The motte and bailey are substantial. The motte is approximately ten metres in diameter and stands two metres high. The outer ditches average 15 metres across from edge to edge. (Roffe)

Gatehouse Comments

At 2.5km from the parish church of Wrangle this is an isolated castle. It is on the edge of Wrangle Common, a location similar to several castles in Norfolk and explain by Robert Liddiard ( i.e. in 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 ReferenceTF413531
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Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Roffe, David, 1993, 'Castles' in Bennett, S. and Bennett, N. (eds), An Historical Atlas of Lincolnshire (University of Hull Press) p. 40-1
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  • Speight, Sarah, 2008, 'Castles as Past Culture: Living with Castles in the Post-Medieval World' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 23 p. 385-94 (slight)


  • English Heritage, 1998, Revised Scheduling Document 22742 Mp. 23
  • Healey, R.H. and Roffe, D.R., Some Medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolshire (unpublished)
  • Downman, E. A., 1911, 'Ancient Earthworks in Lincolnshire' p. 35 (British Library MS)