Rougemont Castle near Weeton

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameRougemont Castle near Weeton
Alternative NamesHarewood 2; Ridgman Scar
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishKirkby Overblow

Rougemont Castle is a good example of a well-preserved ringwork. It is one of the rarer type of ringworks which had an attached bailey and is equally notable for being the early centre of an important manor. Although partially disturbed by forestry, the remains of a substantial number of ancillary features, including building platforms, can be seen to survive. Rougemont Castle lies above the steep north bank of the River Wharfe where the river turns in a right-angle at its confluence with Weeton Beck. The monument includes the remains of a ringwork and its surrounding system of ditches, a large outer enclosure or bailey, an outwork and the remains of a group of fishponds located west of the main earthwork complex. The ringwork comprises a roughly D-shaped enclosure measuring c.90m east to west by 40m north to south. This is surrounded by a broad ditch which drains into the river on the south side via three main outlets. The raised interior of the ringwork has been disturbed by later tree-planting but substantial earthworks survive to illustrate the development of the enclosure and indicate that it was a multi-phase site, possibly with Prehistoric origins though this has not yet been substantiated. A bank c.1m high and 3m wide follows the inside of the ditch and masonry visible in places indicates the remains of the stone wall that crowned the ringwork during the Middle Ages. At this time the site was the centre of the manor of Harewood and, as such, the ringwork would have contained important domestic buildings including the residence of the lord. The ringwork lies towards the south-east corner of a much larger D-shaped enclosure formed on three sides by a bank and infilled external ditch measuring c.1m high by 3m wide and c.3m wide respectively. The south side of the enclosure is formed by Weeton Beck and the Wharfe. This enclosure formed the bailey of the castle and would have contained ancillary and garrison buildings and pens for corralling stock and horses

The locations of some of these features are shown by platforms and earthworks in the western half of the bailey alongside a track that enters from the west through a gap in the bank and ditch where the original entrance stood. The remains of another bank, less than 1m high by 2m wide, exist outside the bailey running westward from the entrance for c.100m and forming the north side of an outwork to the main complex. This is bounded to the west and south by Weeton Beck and to the east by the bailey bank. North of this outwork, alongside Weeton Beck, a sunken, marshy area represents one or more fishponds that formerly served the manor. The remains of ridge and furrow cultivation overlie the outwork and the eastern half of the bailey and postdate the abandonment of the manorial site. This occurred in c.1366 when Harewood Castle was built to house the former owners of Rougemont, the de Lisles, who had married into the Aldburgh and Harewood families. (Scheduling Report)

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 ReferenceSE296462
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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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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 41
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  • Jones, J., 1859, History and Antiquities of Harewood (London) esp p. 32, 248-9 online copy


  • Colonel John Parker, 1913, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 22 p. 152-3


  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 39 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 57 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 52 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 52 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 62 online copy