Kirkby in Ashfield Castle Hill Camp

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameKirkby in Ashfield Castle Hill Camp
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNottinghamshire
Modern AuthorityNottinghamshire
1974 AuthorityNottinghamshire
Civil ParishKirkby in Ashfield

A rectangular camp on Castle Hill (at SK 49045578) consisting of a bank and part ditch with SW and NW entrances. Due east (at SK 49145576) is a possibly associated oval banked enclosure (VCH). In 1292 Edward I stayed at Kirkby Castle on his way from Pleasley to Codnor. Traces of this castle are represented by mounds in "the field at the west (? south) end of the church" (Bosner). Extant earthworks at Castle Hill consist of an engineered terraced feature at SK 49045578 with an adjacent irregular mound to the east, and, centred at SK 49245576 a string of fishponds. The feature formerly shown at SK 49145576 has now been ploughed out. At the former site extensive ploughing has destroyed all the earthworks portrayed by VCH with the exception of a scarped perimeter bank which now attains a maximum height of 2.3m. The adjacent flat topped mound has a max height of 2.6m; here again the feature is surrounded by plough. There is much scattered building material evident and slate, tile, brick, stone are all to

be seen, together with mortar. Perimeter wall foundations, now level with the plough, can be traced in places. The work is situated some 180.0m above sea level in a commanding position with excellent all round visibility. The fishpond complex consists of four major inter-connected ponds and sluices; all are overgrown, silted, and hold seasonal water. They achieve a maximum depth of 2.7m and appear early in construction. There seems to be little doubt that the former work marks the site of Kirby Castle (possibly a small motte with curtain and attached court) although the fragmentary earthwork remains renders precise classification doubtful. The fishponds are probably later

The central work, now demolished, has on OS 25" 1961 the look of a Civil War battery (note also the proximity of the church; a possible observation post) but no historical substantiation was found in local research (Field Investigators Comments–F1 FDC 15-JAN-75) Castle Hill fortified manor. Scheduled RSM no. 13397. The monument includes the remains of a fourteenth century fortified manor house which records suggest was built either by Robert de Stuteville or John Darcy. It includes a levelled rectangular platform situated south of the parish church of St Wilfred (Scheduled Monument Notification). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Possible castle but Speight suggest a 'moated, up market, farm' although that is a description that in actual functional terms applies to many small castles.

- 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 ReferenceSK490558
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  • Wright, James, 2008, Castles of Nottinghamshire (Nottinghamshire County Council) p. 66
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 86
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 381
  • Stevenson, W., 1906, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Nottinghamshire Vol. 1 p. 302-3 online copy


  • Speight, Sarah, 1994, 'Early Medieval Castles in Nottinghamshire' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 98 p. 68
  • Gersham-Bonser, G., 1939, 'Kirkby-in-Ashfield' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 43 p. 72-3