Hall Garth motte and bailey castle, moated site and fishponds


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Hall Garth motte and bailey castle, moated site and fishponds
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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:
SE 99824 46488

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Manorial centres were important foci of medieval rural life, closely regulating local agricultural and village life. The manorial centre itself comprised a series of buildings which, in general, included a hall and associated domestic buildings, kitchen, staff lodgings as well as a wide range of ancillary structures associated with agricultural and economic functions. These included stables, barns and brewhouses, workshops and dovecotes. Manorial centres also functioned as agricultural units one common element of which was the fishpond. These are artificially created pools of slow moving freshwater constructed to cultivate, breed and store fish as a constant and sustainable supply of food. Fishponds were maintained by a water management system which included inlet and outlet channels carrying water from a river or stream, a series of sluices and an overflow leat to prevent flooding.

Hall Garth motte and bailey castle, moated site and fishponds at Lockington survive well in an area where such monuments are rare. Taken as a whole the monument will add greatly to our understanding of the development over time of a manorial complex and its social and economic status in a a wider medieval, rural landscape.


The monument includes earthwork and The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of a medieval motte and bailey castle, medieval moated site and fishponds. It is located 500m south of the village of Lockington. The monument lies to the west of the formerly extensive wetlands of the Holderness Marshes which were drained as late as the 18th century and converted to agricultural land. Little is currently known about the history of the site. The motte and bailey castle is thought to have been built in 1120 by the Fossard family who had held the manor of Lockington since 1071. As the seat of the manorial holding the castle would have functioned as the administration centre for the manor. The castle was probably abandoned in the late 13th to 14th centuries when in common with other high status dwellings in the region, the domestic and administrative functions of the manorial residence were transferred to a new hall erected on a moated site located in the castle bailey to the east of the motte. The moated site was in turn abandoned, probably by the 17th century when the fashion for moated sites waned, and its functions relocated to the current building known as Hall Garth, which dates to 1685. The motte has been known as Coney Hills since at least the mid 19th century. The word coney is a medieval term referring to rabbits or rabbit warrens, which indicates that the motte was associated with rabbits although whether this was as a managed warren or as a natural colony is currently unclear. The motte and bailey castle at Lockington takes the classic form and includes a flat-topped mound known as a motte encircled by a ditch with an enclosed area known as a bailey located to the east. The motte survives as a substantial sub-circular steep-sided mound measuring a maximum of 50m across and standing up to 4m above the encircling ditch. On the western side there is a substantial outer bank up to 20m wide and standing 2.5m high which decreases in size to the east so that at the eastern side there is no outer bank,allowing access to the bailey on this side. The ditch measures a maximum of 6m wide. The area of the bailey lies immediately to the east of the motte, however its original dimensions are unclear as the surviving remains have been obscured by the later moated site constructed within the bailey. The moated site includes an irregularly shaped platform centred on NGR TA99894655 surrounded by a ditch on all but the western side. The platform measures 50m north to south by a maximum of 40m east to west and the surrounding ditch measures 0.7m deep and is up to 6m wide. At the south east of the moated platform a pair of parallel linear ditches extend southwards. The easternmost of these joins the ditch surrounding the moated platform and is 40m in length and up to 4m in width. The western ditch extends southwards as far as the field boundary and then curves to extend north eastwards for some 60m. Both these ditches are interpreted as fishponds used for the cultivation of fish and as designed garden features. The moated site and motte lay within a wider enclosure or precinct in which a range of ancillary functions associated with the wider agricultural and economic functions of the manorial centre would have taken place. This is enclosed by a raised bank measuring up to 4m wide and standing up to 1m high which extends along the eastern, southern and western field boundaries defining the monument. At the northern side it extends along the southern side of the farm track as far as the complex of farm buildings. The line of the precinct boundary would originally have extended further east and south to complete the circuit, however the current farm complex has disturbed and obscured remains in this area and consequently it is not included in the monument. Within the north west corner of the precinct and to the west of the motte there are a series of significant earthworks taking the form of linear banks and rectangular platforms thought to be the buried remains of boundaries and buildings within the precinct. All fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912), 33
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912)
Harris, A, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Rabbit Warrens of East Yorkshire in the 18th and 19th Cent, , Vol. Vol 42, (1968), 429-444
CUC BAF 91-93, (1989)


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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