Sowerby Pudding Pie Hill

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameSowerby Pudding Pie Hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishSowerby

bowl barrow which is situated on the east bank of the Cod Beck river 650m south-east of St Oswald's Church and lies on the edge of an area of high ground adjacent to the floodplain of the river. The mound is 40m in diameter and the summit is about 3m above the high-ground to the east and rises to 6m above the floodplain. A slight irregular hollow at the top of the mound is thought to be the result of a partial excavation of the barrow by Lady Russell in 1855. Three male skeletons and some cremated bones were found along with a number of Anglian weapons; these burials represent a re-use of the mound for burials in the Dark Ages and it is thought that Prehistoric burials, interred when the mound was built, were not disturbed by the excavators. The barrow is surrounded by a ditch which cuts into the hillside to the south-east of the mound and is between 5m and 10m wide by up to 1.5m deep, while on the north-west side the ditch lies on the floodplain and is now 0.5m deep, having become silted-up over the years. The low-lying parts of the ditch are partially waterlogged. There is a slight 1m wide outer bank on the edge of the ditch on the floodplain. The ditch and outer bank have been incorporated into later field boundaries. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The North Yorkshire SMR (Now the NYCC HER) record writes 'Pacitto suggests that although scheduled as a round barrow this site may represent a small motte.' unfortunately it does not identify 'Pacitto' in the online record. The location, near a river crossing but on the opposite side of the river from Sowerby is not conclusive, but the location of so many footpaths centering on the hill is suggestive. Flooding, agriculture and modern road workings will have effected any possible associated earthworks, such as a bailey. The name Pudding Pie hill may suggest the original form of the hill as domed and fairly steep sided rather more like a motte than a barrow. However, the site must remain doubtful as a medieval fortification.

- 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 ReferenceSE437810
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  • Whellan, 1859, History and Topography of North Riding of Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 706


  • English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 7/1/93