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.
Significant buried archaeological remains of the medieval fortified house and
of earlier occupation will be preserved. The monument offers important scope
for the study of medieval life and the changes in domestic arrangements over
The monument includes the remains of a medieval hall located on a raised river
terrace overlooking the River Nidd at the southern end of the village of
The monument occupies a knoll, the south and west sides formed by the natural
lie of the land and the east side formed by a deep hollow way. The knoll has
steep sides and a flat top which measures 80m east to west by 60m north to
south. The foundations of the medieval hall survive as a sub-rectangular
shaped earthwork up to 1.5m high in the centre of the site. To the south of
the site of the hall there are terraces which are the remains of the formal
gardens. There are further earthwork remains of ancillary buildings throughout
The hall is thought to have been built on the site of an earlier defensive
earthwork or motte comanding the ancient river crossing.
Little is known of the early history of the monument. The manor of Hunsingore
was granted to the Knights Templar preceptory at nearby Ribston in 1217 and it
may be that the earliest defensive site was a castrum of the order.
After the dissolution of the preceptory in 1536 the manor was granted to Henry
Goodricke. It was some time after the 1540s that the Goodricke family home was
built on the site, probably utilising existing buildings. However, the hall
did not last long and it is thought that it was destroyed during the Civil War
in the 1640s.
All fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features is included.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.