Fortified manor house known as Kyme Castle


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Fortified manor house known as Kyme Castle
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Selby (District Authority)
Newton Kyme cum Toulston
National Grid Reference:
SE 46601 44937

Reasons for Designation

Fortified houses were residences belonging to some of the richest and most powerful members of society. Their design reflects a combination of domestic and military elements. In some instances, the fortifications may be cosmetic additions to an otherwise conventional high status dwelling, giving a military aspect while remaining practically indefensible. They are associated with individuals or families of high status and their ostentatious architecture often reflects a high level of expenditure. The nature of the fortification varies, but can include moats, curtain walls, a gatehouse and other towers, gunports and crenellated parapets. Their buildings normally included a hall used as communal space for domestic and administrative purposes, kitchens, service and storage areas. In later houses the owners had separate private living apartments, these often receiving particular architectural emphasis. In common with castles, some fortified houses had outer courts beyond the main defences in which stables, brew houses, granaries and barns were located. Fortified houses were constructed in the medieval period, primarily between the 15th and 16th centuries, although evidence from earlier periods, such as the increase in the number of licences to crenellate in the reigns of Edward I and Edward II, indicates that the origins of the class can be traced further back. They are found primarily in several areas of lowland England: in upland areas they are outnumbered by structures such as bastles and tower houses which fulfilled many of the same functions. As a rare monument type, with fewer than 200 identified examples, all examples exhibiting significant surviving archaeological remains are considered of national importance.

Although the visible remains of Newton Kyme Castle are limited in extent, it is believed that further remains are preserved beneath the surrounding landscaped gardens. The castle lies adjacent to the village of Newton Kyme and surrounding earthworks, and is one of several medieval sites within the area. The remains at Newton Kyme retain important evidence for the study of fortified manors within the wider medieval landscape of the north of England.


The monument includes parts of a fortified manor house lying in the grounds of Newton Kyme Hall, situated on a raised river terrace to the south of the River Wharfe. The remains comprise a well preserved length of medieval wall, orientated north to south. The wall is 15m in length, 1.2m thick with a return to the west at both ends. A first floor lancet window is located to the south part of the wall and a corbel on the east side indicates that this was an interior face to the structure. The stub return walls at both ends further indicate that the wall also extended westwards. There is a pointed arch doorway at the north of the wall which, along with the upper masonry around and to the north of it, appears to be a later rebuild, and may date from the Victorian garden landscaping. Further remains of the manor are believed to be preserved around the monument but their full extent cannot, as yet be determined. A square headed window serving as a memorial is located in the churchyard to the south and may have originated from the manor house. It is thought that the manor may have been founded by the de Kyme family in the 13th century and fortified in the 14th by the Talbot family. The manor house may have gradually fallen into decay in the subsequent centuries and was finally granted to Thomas Fairfax after the Civil War in the 17th century. The castle remains are Listed Grade II.

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
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The North Riding, (1986), 378
Bastow, M, AM 107 Reports, (1985)


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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