Manor Garth Hill ringwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009357

Date first listed: 14-Oct-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jul-1992


Ordnance survey map of Manor Garth Hill ringwork
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Kippax

National Grid Reference: SE 41644 30398


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Ringworks are medieval fortifications built and occupied from the late Anglo-Saxon period to the later 12th century. They comprised a small defended area containing buildings which was surrounded or partly surrounded by a substantial ditch and a bank surmounted by a timber palisade or, rarely, a stone wall. Occasionally a more lightly defended embanked enclosure, the bailey, adjoined the ringwork. Ringworks acted as strongholds for military operations and in some cases as defended aristocratic or manorial settlements. They are rare nationally with only 200 recorded examples and less than 60 with baileys. As such, and as one of a limited number and very restricted range of Anglo-Saxon and Norman fortifications, ringworks are of particular significance to our understanding of the period.

Manor Garth Hill is a good example of a ringwork. Its earthworks are well-preserved and will retain considerable archaeological remains. In addition, it is one of the rarer type of ringworks which had an attached bailey, though this bailey is not included in the scheduling.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Manor Garth Hill is situated on a south facing spur above the village of Kippax. The monument includes the remains of a ringwork and part of the surrounding ditch. On its east side, beneath the Church of St Mary and its churchyard, is the bailey which was formerly attached to the ringwork and would have contained ancillary buildings such as stables and accommodation for servants and men-at-arms. This, however, is not included in the scheduling as both the church and churchyard are in current ecclesiastical use. The ringwork survives as a roughly circular enclosure with an interior diameter of c.25m and an earthwork bank standing to a maximum height c.5m. A platform within the interior has been interpreted as the site of a building known to have existed in the seventeenth century whilst, on the south-east side, is a fragment of walling of a similar date. To the west, partially overlain by the church hall, are the remains of a defensive hornwork while, surrounding the monument, are the buried remains of its ditch. The bank will contain the remains of the medieval timber palisade while the remains of contemporary timber buildings will survive in the interior along with the stone foundations of the post-medieval structures. Kippax was an important centre in the late Anglo-Saxon period and retained this status after the Norman Conquest, becoming an early administrative centre of the honour of Pontefract until succeeded in this role by Barwick in Elmet. The ringwork is believed to date to the early post-Conquest period but had been largely superseded by the thirteenth century, for which reason its wooden structures were never rebuilt in stone. Features which are excluded from the scheduling are the church hall, the surface of the path surrounding it and the telegraph poles on the west side of the ditch. The ground beneath these features is, however, included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 13291

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of West Riding of Yorkshire, (1912)
MSC measured survey in SMR, West Yorkshire Archaeological Service, Manor Garth Hill, Kippax, (1988)

End of official listing