Page images

bailey. The motte is rather more than three-quarters detached, and measures, on its summit, some 160 feet by 115 feet. It is 40 feet in height, and is defended by a formidable ditch, some 20 feet wide, with bold counterscarp banks rising some 9 feet above the bottom of the ditch. om this bank the ground drops steeply towards the north (see section A-Bon plan). On the top of the motte, at its south-east end is a small sunken court, measuring some 85 by 55 feet, to which the edge of the motte forms a breastwork or banquette. On the west this banquette expands into a flat platform, roughly triangular in shape, the base of the triangle being about 112 feet in length, whilst a straight line drawn from the centre of this base to the apex of the triangle is about 55 feet in length. In this arrangement Middleham somewhat resembles the fine oval motte at Burton-in-Lonsdale, but at the latter place there are two such platforms, one at the east and the other at the west end. There is little doubt that this platform bore the wooden tower or keep of the stronghold, whilst it is possible that the sunken court may have been occupied by the great hall, with its store room on the basement. In any case it is tolerably certain that the dwelling-house accommodation was confined to the motte.

The bean-shaped bailey is unusually small, especially considering the size of the motte, being only about half an acre in extent. It was defended on all sides by a continuation of the motte ditch, branches of which ditch also separated the motte from the bailey. Part of the ditch on the south side of the bailey still contains water. The rampart on the inner side of the bailey ditch is about 13 feet high, and would form a formidable defence when crowned by its timber stockading. The entrance to the bailey may still be distinctly traced on the east-south-east, where there is a gap both in the ditch and in the rampart. This entrance was guarded by an outwork, which would appear to have been flanked by a triple row of stockading, but this portion of the earthwork is not in such good preservation as is the remainder.

NORTHALLERTON, CASTLE HILLS (fig. 4). History.--Tempore Regis Edwardi " Aluertune" (Northallerton), containing 44 carucates, was held, as one manor, by Edwin, Earl of Mercia, who had there no fewer than 66 villeins with 35 ploughs, the manor being valued at £80 a year. It seems highly probable that the Conqueror founded a motte and bailev fortress on what is now known as “ Castle Hills ” when he encamped at Northallerton in 1068.2 Ingledew3 is of opinion that this castle was founded within a Roman camp, but Professor Haverfield doubts the existence of such a camp on the site, and what one can learn of the contour of the now destroved earthworks would tend to show that no such camp

i In this it somewhat resembles the bailey at Dingstow, Moninouthshire, and that at the Busli castle of Mexborough, W.R At these places the bailey

forins, as it were, a kind of forecourt to the motte.

2 As a general rule the ditches of a motte and bailey castle were dry.

existed." Soon after 1087 Rufus granted the lordship of Allertonshire, with all its rights and appendages except the property held within it by Count Alan of Richmond to the able but unscrupulous William of St. Carileph, bishop of Durham. This prelate subsequently became implicated in the rebellion against Rufus ; his castle of Durham was captured by Ivo Taillebois on 14 Nov., 1088,6 and he was deprived of the see which he had held about eight years. He was reappointed on 14 Sept., 1091,8 and died at Windsor on 2 Jan., 1096.9 For three years Rufus retained the bishopric in his own hands,10 and then appointed the famous Ranulph Flambard to the see. Flambard was succeeded by Geoffrey, chancellor to Henry I, and on his death, in 1141, William Cumin, chancellor to David, king of Scotland, with the object of extending the Scottish frontier, seized Northallerton and Durham Castles, and the temporalities of the bishopric. He entirely rebuilt Northallerton Castle, converting it into a very strong fortress. On 14 March, 1143, William of St. Barbara was legally elected bishop, but Cumin refused to give up possession, and was supported by Alan of Richmond,11 one of the most powerful of the North Country nobles. During the disorders which followed, the castle at Northallerton was more than once attacked, but eventually an insurrection of the feudatories of the County Palatine, led by Bertram de Bulmer of Sheriff Hutton Castle, 12 compelled Cumin to give up his claim.13 Hugh Puiset, a cousin of King

i D.B., fo 229a, col. 1.
2 Symeon of Durham. Rolls Ser., i, 100.

3 History and Antiquities of Northaller. ton.

4 The illustration of the earthworks given by Ingledew show what is obviously a motte and bailey castle of considerable size and strength. Considering that he had never heard of such a thing as a Norman earth-and-timber castle, the illustration is of considerable value.

5 See Yafforth Castle.
6 Anglo-Saxon Chron., sub. anno 1088.

? His letter to the king on the subject is preserved in the Fairfax MSS., Dugdale's Mon. Angl., i, 248-250.

8 Symeon, Hist. Eccl. Dun., Rolls Ser., ii, 218.

9 Ibid., i, 134.
10 During these three years he drew
£300 a year, equivalent to some £6,000
a year of present day currency, from the
bishopric (ibid., i, 135).

11 Ibid., i, 152.
12 Ibid., i, 158.
13 Ibid., i, 166.

[blocks in formation]



[blocks in formation]

latern Railway

Scale foi

DOT os

FIG. 4.

[To face p. 366

[merged small][ocr errors]

Henry II, succeeded St. Barbara in January, 1153,4 and repaired Northallerton Castle, which, at a later date, he arranged to garrison, apparently in agreement with William the Lion, king of Scotland, 3 with 40 knights and 500 Flemings, under his nephew Hugh, Count of Bar.1 But on the very day (13 July, 1174) these mercenaries landed at Hartlepool, the Scottish king was captured at Alnwick, and, immediately on hearing the news, Puiset sent the Flemings back to their own country although he despatched the Count of Bar and the 40 knights to augment the garrison at Northallerton. Knowing that resistance was now useless, the rebels and conspirators having been deprived of the aid they expected from Scotland, he submitted to the king at Nottingham, surrendering his castles of Durham, Norham, and Northallerton, but in spite of his prompt submission he had great difficulty in obtaining the king's pardon for the garrison of Northallerton.5 The castle was dismantled and destroyed by order of Henry II in 1174.6

Description. -Northallerton, the official capital of the North Riding, is a sleepy, old-fashioned town, possessing no objects of interest beyond the church and the site of the Bishops' Palace, and consisting principally of one long, wide street, with broad cobbled pavements, lined with dull old houses. The antiquary who expects to find the enormous motte and the mighty earthworks of the Norman castle of the Prince-Bishops will be disappointed. All that now remains to mark its site is a fragment of what was the eastern rampart of the bailey, for the North Eastern Railway has put a finishing touch to the work of destruction commenced by Henry II.?

The fortress stood on relatively elevated ground with a wide and extensive view for miles over the low-lying ground, with on one side the Hambledon and on the other side the Richmondshire hills blue and hazy in the distance. Leland says: “At

Scriptores Tres. (Surtees Soc.), App., the high mounds, which were very forp. 1.

midable, and filled up the deep trenches, ? Roger of Houeden, Chron., Rolls Ser., and afterwards the north terrace, which,

with the rampart or terrace on the east 3 Ibid., ii, 57

side (still remaining), formed a kind of 4 Ibid., ii, 63.

crescent or half-circle. A strong pave5 Ibid., ii, 64.

ment of stones, about 2 feet below the 6 Ibid., ii, 101 : Benelict of Peter- surface and three or four courses deep, borough, i, 160.

firmly set in lime, was removed, several About the beginning of the present score loads being sold to the overseers century," i.e, about 1800, says Ingledew, of the highways In 1838 the remainder “ the high embankments and trenches of the earthworks—with the exception on the east side were taken down and of the fragment of the eastern rampart, levelled.


death of still remaining (see plan)—were levelled Miss Lampton, the north side of the on the construction of the Great North Castle Hill, which was entire, was bought of England (now the North Eastern) by Mr. Thomas Hunter, who took down Railway.


ii, 57.



« PreviousContinue »