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Monument record MDR1442 - Bank Top Motte, Bank Top Farm, Hartington Town Quarter

Type and Period (1)

  • (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SK 1262 6155. A large mound, 20 metres in diameter, with four metre slopes on the north side, possibly a motte and bailey. (1) At SK 1262 6155, a small extension from the scarp above the Dove, has been artificially accentuated and cut off by a ditch. There is no evidence of a bailey but it can hardly be anything but a motte, and on a small scale it practically duplicates Pilsbury Castle (SMR 6857). Surveyed at 1/2500. (2) The monument comprises a man-made castle mound or motte built on a natural crag that falls away steeply to the north and west. On all sides but north it is surrounded by a broad ditch that is c. two metres deep, the material from which has been used to built the motte. The latter has a flat top of 20-25 metres diameter and presumably was originally surmounted by a timber keep or palisade. To the north, the side of the mound has partly collapsed, making the top irregular in plan. The whole side is currently (in 1991) suffering badly from livestock erosion and the lack of turf leaves the mound prone to further collapse. Nothing is known of the history of the Bank Top motte. Simple earthwork castles such as this usually date from the 11th or 12th century and if still is use in the late 13th century, had their timber defences replaced by walls of stone. Thus the Bank Top motte was probably abandoned by this date. There is no sign of a bailey associated with the motte and there is no reason to think one ever existed. This may suggest the site was abandoned soon after it was constructed, never becoming a permanent base for the defence of the valley. Thus the site contrasts with Pilsbury Castle a short distance further up the valley, which has two baileys. It is possible, therefore, that Pilsbury could be seen as a replacement fortification to that at Bank Top. They both occupy similar natural crags in the narrow Dove Valley, each controlling passage down the valley from the north. The use of both castles at the same time would seem unnecessary. (4)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cole, F G (reviser). 1960. S.S. 6".
  • <2> Personal Observation: 1966. F1 FRH.
  • <3> Index: NDAT: 1148.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 1991. Bank Top Farm, Hartington Town Quarter, Derbyshire, archaeological survey 1991. SMR Doc. No. 57, Feature no. 2.
  • <5> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 7035.1-6.



Grid reference Centred SK 1261 6153 (149m by 114m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3728
  • EDR1177

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 28 2016 4:01PM

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