Castle Levington

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameCastle Levington
Alternative NamesCastle Leavington; Kirk Leavington; Castellemiton; Castel Leveington
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityStockton on Tees
1974 AuthorityCleveland
Civil ParishCastlelevington

Castle Leavington. A very fine motte, placed at an angle of a steep bluff, the ground to the west being a level plateau, on which no signs of an attached bailey can be seen. The earthen breastwork round the top, enclosing an area of 0.5 acres, is in good condition, and retains its entrance on the south, and its inner platform. The outer slope of the motte is slightly flattened except on the south east and the ditch completely surrounds it. The manor was given to Robert de Brus early in the 12th century but by 1274 only the motte remained. (VCH)

The motte is in a good state of preservation and has been surveyed at 1:2500. The description by VCH remains correct except that the outer ditch does not surround the entire mound but only extends from the north west, south west and south east quadrant giving added protection from the level plateau on the west. The remainder of the motte on the north east is protected by very steep natural ground rising from the River Leven. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 RL 24-AUG-62)

Castle Leavington, a large and fine ringwork. (King and Alcock)

Gatehouse Comments

This description makes it clear this was a ringwork, rather than a motte, timber castle, despite the use of the term motte.

- 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 ReferenceNZ461103
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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

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  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) passim
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 28
  • Ingham, Bernard, 2001, Bernard Ingham's Yorkshire Castles (Dalesman) p. 20
  • Jackson, M.J., 1996, Castles of Durham and Cleveland (Carlisle) p. 38-40
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 301 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 515
  • Ryder, P.F., 1982 (paperback edn 1992), The Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire (Ash Grove Book) p. 87-107
  • Illingworth, J.L., 1938 (republished 1970), Yorkshire's Ruined Castles (Wakefield) 9125-6
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1923, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 2 p. 258-9 online transcription
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 20-21
  • Whellan, T., 1857, History and topography of the city of York and the North Riding of Yorkshire (T Whellan and Co) Vol. 2 p. 749-50 online copy
  • Graves, J., 1808, History of Cleveland: In the North Riding of the County of York p. 93-4 online copy


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • I'Anson, W.M., 1913, 'The castles of the North Riding' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 22 p. 334-6 (plan)
  • Armitage, 1901, The Reliquary Vol. 7 p. 165
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 215 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Caley, J. and Illingworth, W., 1807, Testa de Nevill sive Liber Feodorum in Curia Scaccarii (London: Record Commission) p. 375b online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1908, Calendar of Charter Rolls Edward I, Edward II 1300-1326 Vol. 3. (HMSO) p. 427 view online copy


  • 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