Skip to main content

Scheduled Monument record MDR3475 - Motte and Bailey, Castle Hill, Bakewell

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

[SK 2211 6878] The bailey ended at the fence line to the north - east, but beyond the ditch of this fence there is some trace of defensive work further to the north. (1). Just outside the village of Bakewell there are the remains of a motte and bailey castle (a small motte and bailey castle of 2 acres). (2). Castle Hill. (3). A fort and garrison were planted at Bakewell in 920. [However, Stenton implies that this is a later castle.] (1-4). Requires re-surveying. The map only indicates a tumulus like mound at the south end of quite extensive earthworks. Thought to be a fortress erected by Edward the Elder. (4). The motte and bailey became a scheduled monument on the 2nd November 1950, affirmed on the 22nd November 1995. The monument on Castle Hill is a motte and bailey castle and includes a conical motte or castle mound with an attached oval bailey or outer enclosure. The motte, which is c.3m high and measures c.10m across the summit, is flanked to the north by a filled in ditch, visible as a slightly sunken feature, and is located on the west side of the bailey above a 5m high scarp cut into the hillside. The level bailey, which would have been the site of a variety of domestic and ancillary buildings in addition to pens for cattle and horses, is also defined by a scarp which may, originally, have been surmounted by a timber palisade. Remains relating to the occupation of the castle will have accumulated below the scarp on the south and east sides of the bailey, possibly in a ditch. Partial excavations of the site were carried out in 1969 and 1971 by M J Swanton. It was found that the motte was most likely to have been constructed in the late 12th or 13th centuries, shown by the remains of pottery found in the fill of the flanking ditch. Swanton also discovered that the motte was constructed in a series of layers comprising sand, rubble, clay and loam, and that the inner face of the ditch was revetted with limestone boulders. The precise history of the castle is unknown, but it may have been built by Ralf Gernon who was granted the previously royal manor of Bakewell by Richard I in the last decade of the 12th century. (6). Resurveyed at 1/2,500. There is a subsidiary defensive mound to the north of the bailey, covering the entrance to the earthwork. (7). Excavation in 1969 to 1971 confirmed an early medieval (11th century onwards) date for the motte and bailey, and suggested a function as a watch tower rather than a continually occupied site. (7,9). Erosion in old excavation trenches and disturbance from tree roots. (11). Photographic record. (12,13).

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1905. 'Ancient Earthworks', in The Victoria County History of Derbyshire, Volume 1. pp 357-396. p. 376.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Armitage, E. 1912. Early Norman Castles. p. 47.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Stenton, F. 1943. Anglo-Saxon England. pp. 330-332.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Bramwell, D. 1950. Corr 6".
  • <6> Scheduling record: Ministry of Works. 1961. Ancient Monuments of England and Wales. 23304.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: F1 BHS 24-FEB-66.
  • <8> Article in serial: 1970. Medieval Archaeology. Vol 14, p 175.
  • <9> Article in serial: Swanton, M (University of Exeter). 1972. 'Castle Hill, Bakewell', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 92, pp 16-27.
  • <10> Index: NDAT. 0135. 0135.
  • <11> Personal Observation: Smith, K (PPJPB). K Smith (Peak Park Joint Planning Board) personal communication. 19.4.1990.
  • <12> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Black and white photograph collection. 460.29-33.
  • <13> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 820.1-8.



Grid reference Centred SK 2211 6877 (90m by 138m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR373
  • EDR1352

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jun 17 2019 2:04PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.