Castle Hill fortified house


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021268

Date first listed: 06-Nov-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Feb-2004


Ordnance survey map of Castle Hill fortified house
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 23:43:36.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Brompton

National Grid Reference: SE 94534 82154


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

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.

Castle Hill fortified house is an unusual example of a small defended medieval site. These monuments are rare nationally, with this example presenting an unusual design within the class. The monument also incorporates relics from World War II.


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


The monument includes the site of a fortified house located on a steep natural hill in the north east corner of the village of Brompton, overlooking a millpond that was created by utilising a natural spring. The monument occupies the end of a spur of high ground, with steep slopes down to the south and west.

The north and north east parts of the protected area are on the highest ground, where the remains of two buildings can be interpreted. In the northern part of the area there is a slightly raised and levelled area with traces of stonework protruding along its eastern edge. This forms a roughly rectangular shape measuring 22m by 20m. In the south east area the remains of another building are evident, standing in places more than 1m above the surrounding area. This forms an irregular rectangle approximately 15m by 7m, and is evidently the rubble mound of a substantial fallen building. Connecting these two structures is another raised area, 25m long and 4m wide, with a faint earthwork to its west, perhaps indicating a further structure. The site is interpreted as a fortified medieval manor, with an unusual location and design. It was probably situated to protect the spring below, with a defence line along the north and east sides and protected on the south and west sides by steep natural slopes.

The area also includes two small brick buildings measuring approximately 2.80m by 2.10m and 2.30m high, with concrete roofs and a simple entrance with no windows. These were built for the Home Guard during World War II, apparently as ammunition stores. They are included in the scheduling.

Stone walls and a gateway forming part of the boundary of the site are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 35564

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of North Riding of Yorkshire, (1923), 424
Emery, A, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300-1500, (2000)
NY 521; File AA 10424, Various, English Heritage SAM/CNSR System - Long Internal Report, (1999)
NY 521; File AA 10424, Various, English Heritage SAM/CNSR System, (1999)

End of official listing