Rougemont Castle ringwork and bailey and associated fishponds and outwork


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


Ordnance survey map of Rougemont Castle ringwork and bailey and associated fishponds and outwork
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010026.pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Feb-2020 at 15:46:44.


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

North Yorkshire
Harrogate (District Authority)
Kirkby Overblow
North Yorkshire
Harrogate (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 29545 46334

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.

Rougemont Castle is a good example of a well-preserved ringwork. It is one of the rarer type of ringworks which had an attached bailey and is equally notable for being the early centre of an important manor. Although partially disturbed by forestry, the remains of a substantial number of ancillary features, including building platforms, can be seen to survive.


Rougemont Castle lies above the steep north bank of the River Wharfe where the river turns in a right-angle at its confluence with Weeton Beck. The monument includes the remains of a ringwork and its surrounding system of ditches, a large outer enclosure or bailey, an outwork and the remains of a group of fishponds located west of the main earthwork complex. The ringwork comprises a roughly D-shaped enclosure measuring c.90m east to west by 40m north to south. This is surrounded by a broad ditch which drains into the river on the south side via three main outlets. The raised interior of the ringwork has been disturbed by later tree-planting but substantial earthworks survive to illustrate the development of the enclosure and indicate that it was a multi-phase site, possibly with Prehistoric origins though this has not yet been substantiated. A bank c.1m high and 3m wide follows the inside of the ditch and masonry visible in places indicates the remains of the stone wall that crowned the ringwork during the Middle Ages. At this time the site was the centre of the manor of Harewood and, as such, the ringwork would have contained important domestic buildings including the residence of the lord. The ringwork lies towards the south-east corner of a much larger D-shaped enclosure formed on three sides by a bank and infilled external ditch measuring c.1m high by 3m wide and c.3m wide respectively. The south side of the enclosure is formed by Weeton Beck and the Wharfe. This enclosure formed the bailey of the castle and would have contained ancillary and garrison buildings and pens for corralling stock and horses. The locations of some of these features are shown by platforms and earthworks in the western half of the bailey alongside a track that enters from the west through a gap in the bank and ditch where the original entrance stood. The remains of another bank, less than 1m high by 2m wide, exist outside the bailey running westward from the entrance for c.100m and forming the north side of an outwork to the main complex. This is bounded to the west and south by Weeton Beck and to the east by the bailey bank. North of this outwork, alongside Weeton Beck, a sunken, marshy area represents one or more fishponds that formerly served the manor. The remains of ridge and furrow cultivation overlie the outwork and the eastern half of the bailey and postdate the abandonment of the manorial site. This occurred in c.1366 when Harewood Castle was built to house the former owners of Rougemont, the de Lisles, who had married into the Aldburgh and Harewood families. All modern fencing is excluded from the scheduling although the ground underneath is 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:
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Books and journals
Michelmore, DJH, West Yorkshire: an Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981)
Moorhouse, S.A., Report of Watching Brief of RTZ site at Rougemont, 1984, Typescript in SMR
Note on PRN file, Yarwood, R, PRN 6 Rougemont Castle,
Typescript in SMR, Crowther, C, Rougemont, (1980)
Typescript in SMR, Taylor, F.J., Report on the sheep burial found at Rougemont..., (1984)


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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