Money Hill motte and bailey castle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021138

Date first listed: 16-Jun-1980

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-2003


Ordnance survey map of Money Hill motte and bailey castle
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 18:47:45.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Pickhill with Roxby

National Grid Reference: SE 34572 83743


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

Reasons for Designation

Motte and bailey castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte and bailey castles generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Although Money Hill motte and bailey castle has been incorporated into a railway embankment and damaged by agriculture, it will retain important buried remains, especially within the infilled moat.


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


The monument includes earthwork and associated buried remains of a motte and bailey castle. The motte, known as Money Hill, was incorporated into a railway embankment in 1851 and lies 130m west of All Saints Church, on the west bank of Pickhill Beck.

The castle is believed to have been built by Roald, the third hereditary Constable of Richmond, during the wars between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in 1135-53. Roald is better known as the founder of Easby Abbey near Richmond in circa 1155. Sometime before 1209, Pickhill, with its castle, was given to Jollan de Neville at his marriage to the fourth Constable's daughter Amfelisa. The castle is believed to have continued as the main residence of the Nevilles of Pickhill until 1319 when the village and castle were sacked by the Scots in one of their raids into northern England following the Scottish victory at Bannockburn in 1314. In 1851 the motte was incorporated into a railway embankment by the Leeds and Thirsk Railway Company and in the early 1980s a bungalow was built on part of this embankment.

The motte is roughly square in plan, standing approximately 3m high and 30m across at its summit. Its north western and south eastern corners extend beyond the line of the railway embankment which runs NNE to SSW. The motte was originally surrounded by a moat ditch. This still survives as an earthwork on the south eastern side where it is approximately 1m deep and 15m wide. Around the rest of the circuit it survives as an infilled feature. A plan by the historian W I'Anson in 1913 shows the castle's bailey on the western side of the motte, defined by a curving bank. The earthworks to the west of the railway embankment are reputed to have been levelled by bulldozers during World War II and the area subsequently ploughed. This area is included within the monument to protect any deep buried remains such as refuse pits, as well as the infilled moat which can still be traced as a slight depression.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling: these are the bungalow that stands on the railway embankment to the south of the motte, along with associated out buildings and other structures, as well as all modern fences, walls, gates, 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: 34731

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
L'Anson, W M, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Castles of the North Riding, , Vol. 22, (1913)

End of official listing