Kildale Hall Garth: a medieval manor house complex west of St Cuthbert's Church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Hambleton (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NZ 60355 09568

Reasons for Designation

Manor houses were residences of the seigniorial classes and the focal point of the manor, an estate held by a lord who had certain rights of jurisdiction over his tenants exercised through a manor court. During the 13th and 14th centuries, many manor houses were provided with an encircling ditch, or moat, which served as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. However, outside central and eastern parts of England, where moat building was most prevalent, many manor houses remained unenclosed by substantial ditches and, since they lack the distinctive earthworks of moated sites, unenclosed manor houses are less easily recognised. Those examples which have been identified often include high status houses built of stone or brick and accompanied by specialist agricultural buildings such as drying or malting kilns, wind or watermills. Manor houses were built throughout the medieval period and are widely scattered throughout England; like moated sites, they are a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. At Kildale, small scale excavation has revealed that the stone foundations of the manor house and associated buildings survive, while further medieval structures still remain below ground. The history of the manorial holding is reasonably well documented and there is evidence that the integrity of the manorial estate has been maintained, from the Middle Ages to the present. The manor may have had its origins in a Danish settlement centred on the nearby church.


The monument includes a medieval manor house complex which lies to the west of St Cuthbert's Church, 400m north west of Kildale village. The manor house is situated in the bottom of the dale on a natural knoll close to the south bank of the River Leven. A deep cutting containing the Whitby to Middlesborough railway line now runs at the southern edge of the knoll. The knoll is oval in plan, measuring 90m long by 60m wide, and rises up to 7m from the bottom of a natural depression which appears to form a 'moat' around it. Partial excavation of the eastern end of the knoll in the 1960s revealed the foundations of a substantial stone building, measuring 14m long by 8m wide, which included a malting kiln. Also recorded were stone and timber reveted ditches at the foot of the hill, fragments of a Saxon cross, stone troughs and medieval pottery. Some of the stone foundations are still visible on the top and at the eastern edge of the hill. Further buried remains will survive beneath the 19th century houses which occupy the southern part of the knoll and also on the western part, although this has been altered by arable cultivation. The surrounding depression is deepest at the north east, where the ground falls towards the River Leven, and a 4m wide ditch was excavated in this area. At least two rectangular building platforms, between 15 and 20m across, are visible at the foot of the scarp on the north side of the depression. Along the north edge of the site, about 30m from the top of the knoll, a wall of limestone blocks bedded in clay lies beneath the present hedge; it is the foundation of a boundary predating the hedge; a 20m stretch of dry stone walling at the eastern end is modern. The adjacent church also stands on higher ground and, to the east of the manor house site, the depression has a more artificial appearance, forming a broad ditch 20m wide and about 3m deep. To the west of the knoll, the depression is shallower, broader, generally less distinct and is not thought to retain much accumulation of archaeological deposits. To the south the depression has been destroyed by the railway cutting. The presence of Viking settlement in the vicinity is attested by the discovery of Danish burials during the rebuilding of the church in 1868. At Domesday, Kildale was in the hands of the king but very soon afterwards it came into the possession of Robert de Brus, the seat of whose power lay at the nearby fortress at Castleton. For many generations the manor was held by the Percys of Kildale. By 1508 the manor had been sold to the Earls of Northumberland who held it in their turn until the reign of Charles I. A 17th century map of the manor clearly shows the manor house to the west of the church and, although the original house was superseded by the nearby Kildale Hall in the 19th century, the boundaries of the estate have remained largely unaltered. Although previously identified as the site of a Norman castle, there is no evidence that the manor house was fortified. The houses (Church House Farmhouse and Church House Cottage, Listed Grade II) and outbuildings, fences, metalled surfaces, drive and paths, and modern boundary walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 42 - Note , , Vol. 42, (1969), 243
Note YAJ 47, YAJ, (1975)
Note YAJ 48, YAJ, (1976)
Record No. 789.04,


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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