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end of the large enclosure—and is very pleasantly situated at the entrance to Scugdale, immediately to the west of Whorl Hill, on a spur which projects westward towards the low-lying country. It commands extensive views to the north and west, is admirably placed for defensive purposes, and is not far distant from a branch Roman road leading to Yarm.
The motte, which is some 350 feet above sea-level, overlooks the plain beneath, and may be described as squarish in shape with the corners rounded off. It measures some 200 feet from north to south by about 170 feet from east to west, its summit being about three-quarters of an acre in extent. It is, however, at once apparent that the motte has been much loweredpossibly in the reign of Richard II when the Tower House and Gatehouse were erected—and it is now impossible to say what its original dimensions may have been. But there is no doubt that it was of sufficient size to have borne a timber tower of the first magnitude, and may have been crowned by a great wooden keep, like that of Ardres, containing both great hall and private apartments, in other words that the tower may have been a "palace-keep” such as we get in stone at Middleham. The bailey probably merely contained the stabling, outhouses, etc., and there are no indications that it ever developed masonry, the stone castle being confined to the summit of the lowered motte.
The bailey, which is roughly rectangular in shape, and is almost divided into two parts owing to the narrowness of its centre, covers an area of some 21 acres.
Here, as at Skelton, Barnard Castle and Castle Acre, Norfolk, we have, in connection with the fortress, a large stronglyfortified enclosure, or enclosures, which formed a “burgus"
' or village, protected and overawed by the castle. The ditch separating this enclosure from the bailey is of considerable breadth and depth. It would appear that, as at Skelton and at Barnard Castle, the original church was contained within the "burgus."
This interesting castle will be fully dealt with when we come to consider the stone fortresses; it is, however, impossible to avoid expressing here one's regret that the Gatehouse-one of the finest examples of its kind in the county--is allowed to remain in its present filthy and neglected condition.
YAFFORTH (fig. 9). History.---When the Surveyl was compiled Yafforth was a berewick of Northallerton; but Count Alan le Roux of Richmond held lands within it, and it was on these lands that the motte castle of Yafforth was erected. The history of the fortalice is involved in obscurity; but it is highly probable that here we have the site of one of those notorious robber strongholds of the time of Stephen referred to by the Anglo-Saxon chronicler in his narration of the horrors of that unhappy time.2 The castle was probably erected, during the Cumin usurpation of the bishopric of Durham, by the Scotsman's ally, Alan Niger of Richmond. 3 The reasons which led Alan to select this site are obvious. It commanded a ford of the Wiske ; it occupied, moreover, a highly defensible site, for there is no doubt that in mediæval times it was surrounded on all sides by a swamp or morass, and even now the land around it is much liable to floods. 4 When order was restored the robber den would be dismantled, and as early as the reign of Richard I we find, in a Fine, a suit recorded concerning “the pasture of the island where the castle of Yafforth was, and the meadow close to the island.”5
Description. The fortalice of Yafforth occupied the summit of a low rounded elevation, locally known as “Howe Hill,"
the west side of the river Wiske, to the north-west of Northallerton Castle. The summit of the hillock, which rises some 50 feet above the land around it, was formed into a motte with a slightly rounded top, some 75 feet in diameter at the
1 D.B., fo. 380, 3816, 299a.
2 It is possible that other North Riding castles were destroyed by Henry II, or by Stephen, in accordance with the terms of the treaty made with his rival in 1153. The castle of Wheldrake "West Riding), commanding the Ouse, was destroyed in 1149 by the citizens of York, with the permission of King Stephen, then on a visit to the city (Raine, York, 58). Philip de Colville erected a castle at Drax (West Riding), on the Ouse, which he refused to dismantle, and which Stephen besieged and captured in 1154 (Chron. Stephen, etc., Rolls Ser., i, 94). That a number of these castles were an intolerable infliction is quite certain, and these quiet green mounds which mark their sites could, were they able to speak, tell us many horrible tales of the bestiality and vicious cruelty of their inmates. The Anglo
Saxon chronicler gives IIS a graphic account of the tragic barbarity of the time, and concludes : “ Never was a country delivered up to so many miseries and misfortunes, even in the invasions of the pagans it suffered less than now. It was openly reported that Christ and his saints were sleeping”
3 See Northallerton Castle.
4 On the occasion of three visits by the writer to the site of this castle, in the middle of the summer of 1912, all the fields around it were under waterowing to the long-continued wet weather
-and he was informed by the tenant farmer that his hay, then floating about in some six inches of water, had been cut some weeks previously, but that he had never had an opportunity of getting it into cock.
Pipe Roll (Pipe Rolls Soc.), xxiii, No, 170.
summit. The motte rose some 16 feet above the ditch which encircled it, and part of the counterscarp bank of which still remains on the north and south sides. The motte measures some 210 feet in diameter at its base in the bottom of the ditch. There no bailey. The accommodation afforded by this timber castle would probably be rude and primitive in the extreme, possibly consisting merely of a shed within the timber palisade. There are faint indications that the entrance to the motte was on the north side, towards the west.