Redbourne Castle Hills

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameRedbourne Castle Hills
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Lincolnshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishRedbourne

Earthworks of the two-ward castle of castellated mansion of the lords of the manor of Redbourne (White, 1872; King MS Notes on Castles, 1957-8).

The earthworks form the south east quadrant of a motte and bailey, there being little or no remains to the north and west. The motte itself has been considerably levelled and carries a 19th c. School, and in the foundation trenches of a bungalow to be built alongside much stone is evident (F1 BHS 03-APR-64).

Castle Hills is a moated site, not a motte and bailey. The formerly substantial earthworks are of two adjoining moats, both doubled on their S. sides. The vicarage, churchyard and a 19th cent. schoolhouse occupy the W part of the former enclosures. The remaining SE portion of the site, circa 1.5 ha. centred on above NGR, was levelled and ploughed between 1961-74; undulations, rubble and soilmarks survive. The garden of the house at SK 97449999 contains the only surviving earthworks. Substantial stone foundations have been encountered during house construction. (Loughlin and Miller)

Castle Hills, Redbourne, is either an earthwork castle of two wards, or a ringwork and bailey. Earthworks are very much damaged. (King)

A partially visible Medieval "bailey-like" enclosure was seen as earthworks at Castle Hills and was mapped from good quality air photographs. The enclosure is visible on two sides to the east and south of the house referred to by authority 7. The enclosure is defined by three banks with ditches between and these are centred at SK 9747 9991. These earthworks do not appear to be the remains of moats, as the previous authorities suggest, but of a large embanked enclosure which could have served as a bailey. They have been ploughed flat and are now visible as cropmarks

No trace of a motte or a moat were visible in the vicinity (Helen Winton/30-SEP-1994/RCHME: Lincolnshire NMP)

This site was checked in case it was a miss-identified moated site which might thus be reasonably intact and of national importance. Only two adjacent sections of the moat survive, both to the south of a modern bungalow called Castle Keep. The western moat fragment is only 0.5m deep and truncated by the graveyard around St Andrews church to the west, the eastern is up to 1m deep but has been modified by garden landscaping. The depression to the north marked on the 1:2500 appears to have been infilled. A possible outer moat within the arable field just to the south has been seen as a crop mark and plotted by RCHME. On the island, the SMR record concerning the lack of a surviving motte is confirmed. In addition, another house has been built to the north east of Old School House. Given the poor survival of the moat, the amount of buildings on the island and the complication of an active church yard on the western part of the site, Castle HIlls is not considered to score above the national importance threshold either as a moated site or as a motte and bailey. It is therefore propoed that no further scheduling action is taken (Eric Instone, MPPA, 3rd March 1998). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Early medieval manorial centre now so damaged that its original form cannot be determined. Redbourne Hall which is 475m south east of the church is C18 but surrounded by a park and is probably late medieval in origin. This means Castle Hills is an early manorial centre so possibly the surviving earthwork do date to the C11/C12 making it possibly a ringwork castle as suggested by King. Later adaptation of a ringwork castle into a moated site can not be excluded. However it should be noted that the current archaeological opinion is this was not a castle site but just a moated site. The evidence for a motte is scant and mainly comes from an misleading assumption that all Norman earthwork castles had a motte; it can be dismissed although undoubtable this error will continue to be made.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK974999
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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.

Calculate Print


  • Osborne, Mike, 2010, Defending Lincolnshire: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War (The History Press) p. 32
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 69 (slight)
  • Roffe, David, 1993, 'Castles' in Bennett, S. and Bennett, N. (eds), An Historical Atlas of Lincolnshire (University of Hull Press) p. 40-1
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 262
  • Loughlin, Neil and Miller, Keith, 1979, A survey of archaeological sites in Humberside carried out for the Humberside Joint Archaeological Committee p. 208
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1964, Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (Harmondsworth) p. 340 (slight)
  • White, W., 1872, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire p. 467 online copy


  • White, A.J., 1978, East Midland Archaeological Bulletin Vol. 12 p. 34
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127