Baynard Castle


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.

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 04088 33042

Reasons for Designation

Magnates' residences are high status dwellings of domestic rather than military character. They date from the Norman Conquest (in some cases forming a continuation of a Saxon tradition) and throughout the rest of the medieval period. Individual residences were in use for varying lengths of time; some continued in use into the post-medieval period. Such dwellings were the houses or palaces of royalty, bishops and the highest ranks of the nobility, usually those associated with the monarch. They functioned as luxury residences for the elite and their large retinues, and provided an opportunity to display wealth in the form of elaborate architecture and lavish decoration. As such, these palaces formed an impressive setting for audiences with royalty, foreign ambassadors and other lords and bishops. Magnates' residences are located in both rural and urban areas. Bishops' residences are usually in close association with cathedrals, and all residences tend to be located close to good communication routes. Unless constrained by pre-existing structures, magnates' residences comprised an elaborate series of buildings, usually of stone, that in general included a great hall, chambers, kitchens, service rooms, lodgings, a chapel and a gatehouse, arranged around a single or double courtyard. As a consequence of the status of these sites, historic documentation is often prolific, and can be of great value for establishing the date of construction and subsequent alterations to the buildings, and for investigating the range of activities for which the site was a focus. Magnates' residences are widely dispersed throughout England reflecting the mobility of royalty and the upper echelons of the nobility. There is a concentration of sites which reflects the growing importance of London as a political centre, and the majority of magnates' residences tend to be located in the south of the country. Despite their wide distribution, magnates' residences are a relatively rare form of monument due to their special social status. At present only around 236 examples have been identified of which 150 are ecclesiastical palaces and 86 are connected with royalty. Magnates' residences generally provide an emotive and evocative link with the past, especially through their connections with famous historical figures, and can provide a valuable educational resource, both with respect to the organisation and display of political power, and wider aspects of medieval and post- medieval society such as the development of towns and industries and the distribution of dependent agricultural holdings. Examples with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be of national importance.

Baynard Castle is an important example of a magnate's residence. Its history is well documented, charting the site's rise in status, including details about the visits of two English kings, and its subsequent decline in fortune. The moat and inner court survive well as major earthwork features, and small scale archaeological excavations in both the inner and outer courts have demonstrated good survival of buried medieval remains. In addition, the moat will retain a significant depth of deposits which will include valuable archaeological and environmental information.


The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of part of a medieval magnate's residence, which has been known as Baynard Castle since at least the 19th century. The monument includes the inner court, the full circuit of the inner moat, part of the outer court which retains known medieval archaeological remains, and the undeveloped part of the surrounding defensive bank. The rest of the outer court, defensive bank and surrounding outer moat have been developed for housing during the 20th century, and the level of archaeological survival in this part is unknown and it is therefore not included in the scheduling. The Domesday Book records that Cottingham passed from Gamel son of Osbert to Hugh FitzBaldric after the Norman Conquest, but shortly after 1089 FitzBaldric's Yorkshire lands were forfeited and passed to Robert Front de Boeuf who founded the de Stuteville line. A manor house was on the site by the 1170s when it is first mentioned in documents. In 1201, William de Stuteville was granted licence to fortify and moat his manor house, possibly as a reward for entertaining King John in the previous year. After the death of the last male de Stuteville in 1233 the manor passed to the le Wake family by marriage. In 1282 the site was described as being well built with a double ditch and enclosed by a wall. It was now the principal seat of the family and it was from here that Baron John le Wake was summoned to the 1295 parliament and where he entertained Edward I for Christmas four years later. Thomas Wake is said to have been granted the right to convert his manor house into a castle with an armed garrison by Edward II in 1319, although the surviving licence was made in 1327 by Edward III. Thomas Wake died in 1349, by which time the manor house was described as ruinous. The manor then passed via his sister to the Holland family, the earls of Kent. In 1364 the moat was recorded as producing fish, and in the following year the repair of the house by the gate was ordered. In 1407 the manor of Cottingham was divided into three separate manors for three daughters who were married to the Duke of Richmond, Earl of Westmorland and Lord Powis respectively. From this time onwards, only the site of the old castle was mentioned in documents, for instance in 1434 when two garrets or watch towers were referred to, and when the gatehouse was rebuilt in 1500-1501. The early antiquarian, John Leyland visited the site in 1538 and noted four mean farmers' houses within the castle garth and in 1590 William Camden described the castle as an ancient ruin utterly fallen into decay. By the mid-17th century the Cottingham manors had reverted to the Crown and were then sold off by Charles I. The timber framed house at the centre of the monument once known as Sarum Manor, but now as the Old Manor House, is thought to have been one of the four houses noted by Leyland in 1538. The 25 inch Ordnance Survey map of 1911 shows the earthworks of Baynard Castle before the extensive development for housing in the area later in the 20th century. The inner bailey is approximately square, 90m east-west and nearly 100m north-south and rises to a high point in its north eastern quadrant approximately 7m above the surrounding landscape. In this area parch marks have been noted in dry summers which imply buried wall lines. The Old Manor House, which is Listed Grade II, lies roughly centrally in the southern part of the inner court at a slight angle to the line of the southern moat. A small excavation immediately to its east in 1995 uncovered over 1.4m depth of medieval deposits sealed below nearly 0.5m of later material and garden soils. The remains included a 12th century pit overlain by a massive chalk and limestone wall 1.9m wide. The items found with the associated floor and yard surfaces suggested that the wall was part of a high status building which was in use in the 13th and 14th centuries. The inner court is surrounded by the earthworks of a substantial moat ditch typically 30m wide and over 2m deep. This will have originally been much deeper and will contain important medieval and later archaeological deposits. To the south of the southern moat ditch was the castle's outer court which was the subject of a small scale excavation in 1991. Archaeological remains identified included chalk floors, wall footings and metal working areas with hearth bases all dating to the 12th to 14th centuries. Several fragments of Middle Saxon pottery were also uncovered suggesting pre-Norman activity. The 1911 25 inch map shows that there was a rampart around the moat and outer bailey which has since been built on with the houses along West End Road and the western end of Northgate. One stretch of this outer bank, to the east of the eastern moat ditch, survives as undeveloped land and is included within the monument. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these include the Old Manor House and associated outbuildings, all modern fences and walls, all stiles and gates, greenhouses and sheds, telegraph poles and all road and path surfaces; although the ground beneath all these features 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.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Record cards, Sites & Monuments Record, 816, (1998)


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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