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Description. This motte occupies a highly defensible site on the summit of what is known as "Beacon Hill," facing the castle on the opposite side of the stream, and it would be exactly the site selected for a siege castle. The motte is 14 feet in height, and measures on its summit 110 feet from north to south by 90 feet from east to west, and still retains traces of its banquette. It measures some 220 feet from east to west by about 225 feet from north to south in diameter across its base in the motte ditch, of which there are still traces on the south and south-east. The view from the summit is extensive and beautiful, a fine view of the ruins of the shell keep fortress of Pickering being obtained across the intervening valley. There are no signs of masonry, nor should we expect to find any.
PICKHILL (fig. 5).
History. At the time of the Survey,1 the manor of Pickhill was retained by Count Alan le Roux in his own hands. castle may have been founded by Roald, the third Hereditary Constable of Richmond. Enisand Musard, the first Hereditary Constable, was one of the most powerful of the Richmondshire feudatories of the Breton Count, from whom he received 23 manors, aggregating 140 carucates of land, valued T.R.E. at £21 8s., and in 1086-7 at £16 5s. 4d.2 He had churches on his manors of Aldbrough, Startford, and Hindreleg (in Marske ?), and mills at Aldbrough and Brompton-on-Swale. He gave the church of Croft, with 4 carucates of land, to St. Mary's, York.3
is locally known as Pampudding Hill,"
fortress of St. Suzanne (Mayenne), he constructed a siege castle" Rex itaque quoddam municipium in valle Beugici construxit ibique magnam militum copiam ad arcendum hostem constituit." When this siege took place the defences of St Suzanne would probably be entirely of timber, for although De Caumont (Abécédaire) states that the keep dates from the eleventh century, the writer, who has examined it, is convinced that it is a twelfth century tower. In 1088 Rufus compelled Odo to surrender the castle of Rochester by throwing up two siege castella on his lines of communication (Ord. Vit., viii, 2).
1 D.B., fo. 3136.
2 The greater part of the estates given to Enisand or Enisant Musard had been, T.R.E., the property of Tor of Barningham, who held in Gillingshire 26 manors, containing 178 carucates, valued at £24 IIS. Enisant, as appears from the Survey, also held the manor of Cheveley, Cambridgeshire, of Count Alan le Roux.
3 Dugdale's Mon. Angl., iii, 551b.
After his death his estates passed to his grandson, Roald, son of Hascoit or Harsculf Musard.1
Roald, the third Hereditary Constable-whose descendants bore the arms "Barry of ten, or and gules "-founded, in 1153,2 the well-known Præmonstratensian abbey of St. Agatha, near Richmond, and may have erected Pickhill Castle during the intestinal warfare of the time of Stephen.4 Roald was succeeded by his son, Alan Fitz-Roald, 4th Hereditary Constable,5 whose daughter, Amfelisa, married Jollan de Neville, to whom Alan gave the manor of Pickhill. Jollan de Neville, who died in 1209, may have added to the castle; but as the church appears to date from c. 1135-1145, it seems highly probable that church and castle are contemporary, and that whoever built the one built the other also, and in the reign of Stephen." The Nevilles appear to have resided at Pickhill Castle until 1319, when their fortalice was probably burnt by the Scots,
1 Another son, Robert Fitz-Hersculf, would appear to have been the ancestor of the Cleasby branch of the family. See Raine's "Marske-in-Swaledale," Yorks. Arch. Journal, vi, p. 214.
Dugdale's Mon. Angl., vi, 927; Gale's Reg. Hon. de Rich., p. 263.
3 The Rev. J. Raine suggests (Assoc. Arch. Soc. Reports, ii, 316) that Roald may have brought back from Sicily some relics of St. Agatha when returning from the second Crusade (1146).
Fitz-Roald, 4th constable, was succeeded by his son, Roald FitzAlan or Fitz-Roald, 5th constable, and Roald by his son, Alan Fitz-Roald, 6th constable, and Alan by his son, Roald Fitz-Roald, 7th Hereditary Constable. During the reign of Edward III-according to the Monasticon, some time previous to that time according to the Assoc. Arch. Soc. Reports, 1853, p. 321-Thomas Fitz-Roald de (Constable) Burton, sold bis ancestral estates to Henry, Lord Scrope of Bolton, and the Scropes thus became possessed of the patronage of the Abbey of St. Agatha at Easby. After that we appear to hear no more of that ancient house, the Fitz-Roalds, with their picturesque title, Hereditary Constables of Richmond Castle. Roald, the 5th constable, played a fairly prominent part in the Barons' Wars of the time of John. The constable held the castle for the baronial party but, in his northern campaign of 1216,
the king compelled him to submit, and Roald ransomed his garrison by payment of 200 marcs and six suits of armour (Rot. de Oblates et Fin., Rec. Com., 569; Rot. Lit. Pat., Rec. Com., i, 163). The king ordered the castle to be dismantled (Rot. Lit. Pat., Rec. Com., i, 143), but this order was apparently never carried out.
6 For a pedigree of the Nevilles of Pickhill Castle, see H. B. McCall's Richmondshire Churches, p. 131. Jollan de Neville I died in 1209, leaving two sons, John (obiit s.p. 1219) and Jollan II, the justice (obiit 1246). Jollan II had issue at least two sons, Jollan III (obiit 1249) and John (living in 1254). John was succeeded by Andrew de Neville (obiit 1295), and Andrew by Jollan IV, who had a grant of market in Pickhill in 1306. In the existing church of All Saints the Norman chancel arch and the south door-both of which have scalloped capitals and chevron mouldings-appear to date c. 1135-1145. Whitaker styles them (History of Richmondshire, ii, 135), "the most elaborate specimens of that style now remaining in Richmondshire.' The enlargement of the chancel and the addition of the chantry chapel are probably due to Andrew de Neville (obiit 1295). In the north side of the chancel is the effigy of a knight, whose shield bears the fillet dancette surmounted by a chevron-the arms of the Nevilles of Pickhill-which the writer is inclined to assign to this Andrew. The knight is clad in chain mail armour with surcoat, and wears steel knee caps, the general details of the work pointing to a date between 1290 and 1310. The legs of the effigy are broken off about mid-way between the knees and the ankles, and it is mutilated in other ways.
who sacked and destroyed the village in that year. The castle never developed any works in masonry.
Description. The site of this castle is pleasantly situated amid gently undulating country on the banks of the Pickhill Beck. The earthworks, like those at Kildale and Northallerton (Castle Hills), have suffered much at the hands of the railway engineer, and the motte, which is, like that of Whorlton, squarish in shape, is cut completely in two by the North Eastern Railway, and now forms part of the railway embankment. It is now about 13 feet high, but it is impossible to say what its original elevation may have been. It measures, on the summit, some 105 to 130 feet from east to west, by some 110 feet from north to south; but the mutilation it has undergone may have slightly modified its original shape and size.1 It was surrounded by a broad ditch, portions of which still exist, some 60 feet wide, which, at the time of the occupation of the castle, may have been filled with water from the beck now running to the north and east of the motte. Less than 100 yards to the east of the motte ditch, and standing on rising ground opposite the site of the castle, is the interesting church of All Saints.
The bailey was to the west of the motte, but its earthworks have been so much mutilated that the accompanying plan of it can only be taken as approximately correct. The earthen ramparts on the west side are of considerable breadth, and one might venture to hazard the conjecture that here would be the principal domestic buildings; hall, solar, kitchen, etc.
The great Honour, afterwards known as the Earldom of Richmond, granted by the Conqueror, about 1071, to Alan
1 There was a local tradition to the effect that Mother Shipton prophesied that the village of Pickhill would never prosper until Pict's Hill," or Money Hill," as the motte is called to this day by the villagers, was cut open, and a legend existed that there was a chamber in the centre of the motte in which was a large oak chest, with three locks, containing untold treasure. Numerous similar traditions exist, especially in Wales, with regard to the mottes of Early Norman castles. In 1851 the Leeds and Thirsk Railway Company cut open the motte before finally making it part of their embankment. Needless
to say, although the motte was cut through in all directions, and right down to its base, no treasure was found; the excavation, however, served to establish the fact that no masonry had existed. In the motte ditch were found fragments of cooking utensils, portions of tiling, a small brick, and a thin piece of iron which had evidently once formed part of a medieval helmet. A local tradition still (July, 1913) exists to the effect that "once upon a time a great battle took place at this place, and may refer to the capture and destruction of the castle by the Scots.