Page images

at the angles. It was in ruins when Walter came into possession of the property.

Historical inferences would seem to point to the fact that Walter resided at Votred's manor house of Seaton, which had probably been rebuilt or repaired by Sir Richard de Surdeval, who, previous to 1104, held the manor of Seaton under the Earl of Mortain. The house almost certainly stood on the site of the present farmstead known as Seaton Hall, and subsequently became the residence of a junior branch of the de Kyltons of Kilton, who assumed the name of de Seton from that of their residence, and who held considerable property in the lordship of Hinderwell as feudatories of the de Kyltons and their successors, the de Thwengs.

The lordship of Hinderwell comprised the manors of Hinderwell, Seaton, and Roxby, and the sokes of Boulby, Arnodestorp, Roxby, Hinderwell, and Rescheltorp.

THE PERCY MANOR OF HINDERWELL is thus described in the Survey :

“Terra Willelmi de Perci. Manerium. In Hildreuelle habuit Norman iiii carucatas terre et vi bouates ad geldum. Ubi possunt esse ii caruce et dimidia. Willelmus habet et wastum est. Prati acre xiii. T.R.E. ualebat xx solidos. Soca. In Arnodestorp est soca pertinens ad Hildreuelle x bouatarum terre ad geldum et i caruca potest ibi esse.

THE MORTAIN MANOR OF SEATON is thus described in the Survey :

“Terra Comitis Moritoniensis. In Scetun ad geldum iii carucate et ii (caruce) possunt esse. Ibi habuit Vctred i manerium. Nunc habet Ricardus (de Surdeval) de Comite (Moritoniensis). In dominio i caracata et vi villani cum ii carucis et dimidia ecclesia. Totum manerium i leucam longum et dimidiam latum. T.R.E. x solidos ualebat. Modo similiter. Ad hoc manerium iacet soca in Roscebi ii carucatarum ad geldum et ii caruca possunt esse. Silua pastilis i leucam longa et iii quarantenas lata. Totum Roscebi ii leucas longum et dimidiam leucam latum. Vctred tenet.”

THE CHESTER SOKES.—The Earl of Chester, at the time of the Survey, held two sokes in the present parish of Hinderwell belonging to his lordship of Lofthouse. These, soon after 1087, were granted by him to William de Percy first, and were incorporated in the original fief of Kilton. They are thus described in the Survey :

“ Terra Comitis Hugonis (Cestrenisi). Hinderwell. Ad hoc manerium (Lochusum) pertinet soca hec .... Roscheltorp (i carucate) .... . Hildreuelle (x bouatarum) .... Bollebi (ii carucatarum).”

The last-mentioned was not in the parish of Hinderwell, but formed part of the new lordship.

THE ROYAL MANOR OF Roxby. When Henry I gave Alan de Percy the Mortain lands in Hinderwell, he also gave him the small royal manor of Roxby, which was then incorporated in the Kilton fief, and is thus described in the Survey :

* Terra Regis. Manerium. In Roxebi. Norman i carucatam terre. Terra ad i carucam.”

The lordship of Hinderwell aggregated 14 carucates and bovates of land, and was the largest portion of the fief.

THE KIRKLEATHAM PROPERTY.-The lords of Kilton held about one-third of the parish of Kirkleatham, the remaining two-thirds being subsequently owned by the Priory of Guisborough. They were, however, patrons of the parish church.

THE PERCY MANOR OF WESTLIDE (Kirkleatham) is thus described in the Survey :

Terra Willelmi de Perci. Manerium. In Westlide habuit Norman iiii carucatas terre ad geldum. Ubi possunt esse ii caruce. Nunc habet Willelmus. Ibi i sochmannum et vii bordarios cum i caruca. Ibi presbiter et ecclesia et vi acre prati. T.R.E. ualebat x solidos. Modo v solidos et iiii danarios."

THE CHESTER SOKE OF WESTLIDE (Kirkleatham).-Attached to the Earl of Chester's manor of Lofthouse was a soke in the parish of Kirkleatham, where the town of Coatham now stands. It was given by the Earl to William de Percy, and incorporated in the fief of Kilton. It consisted of two carucates.

All guide - books dealing with Cleveland, including works with a general circulation, such as Bulmer's North Yorkshire, accept as gospel, without any inquiry, the ludicrous and utterly inaccurate statements of the history of Kilton Castle contained in Graves' and Ord's Histories of Cleveland. But the task of compiling a really valuable history of any district is one that cannot be undertaken by one man, and would need the combined efforts of half a dozen specialists on various periods.

“Kilton Castle," records the ordinary guide - book, “was built by Robert de Brus in the reign of Stephen, and descended by marriage to the Thwengs." This manor was granted by the Conqueror to Robert de Brus, and descended by marriage to the Thwengs,” etc. The Percy Feodary, the Guisborough Chartulary, and other historical documentary evidence all disprove the first statement, showing clearly that all the manors just mentioned as comprising the ancient fief of Kilton, were held from the time of the foundation of the fief in the reign of the first Henry to its seizure by the Crown in that of the eighth Henry, by knight service as part of the barony of Percy. The second statement is disproved not only by the detailed account of the Brus property given in the Inq. p. m. of the last lord of that name, but by the Domesday Survey itself.

Even Atkinson, the author of what, although unfortunately incomplete, is undoubtedly by far the best historical work yet written on Cleveland generally, confesses ignorance of the early history of both castle and fief, but proves, from the Percy Chartulary, the absurdity of Graves' and Ord's statements on this point. Unfortunately, the ordinary writer, to whom the work of compiling directories and guide-books appears to fall, is more apt to copy from the somewhat picturesque but inaccurate Ord than from the more prosaic but more careful Atkinson.

The task of putting on record, for the first time, a genuine history of the castle, has been greatly lightened by the admirable Chartulary of Guisborough Priory, published by the Surtees Society.


The newly-founded fief of Kilton was granted by Alan, second feudal Baron de Percy, to a certain Walter, to be held by knight service. Of Walter we know nothing whatever.

PAGAN FITz-WALTER, the second holder of the fief, married a daughter of Robert Fossard, feudal baron of Mulgrave, who bore the arms Sable, a bend or. Pagan's brother-in-law, William Fossard, was one of the chief commanders of the Anglo-Norman army at the famous Battle of the Standard. His son William left a daughter and heiress, Joanna, who married Robert de Turnham, who, in turn, left a daughter and heiress, who married Peter de Mauley 1.1

1 “ Nigellus Fossard tenuit manerium de Thorneham per Ricardum primum ; de Doncastre in Com. Ebor. tempore cujus Roberti filia et haeres, Isabella, Guillelmi Conquestoris, cujus consan- nupta fuit Petro de Malo Lacu, qui guinea et haeres, Joanna-viz.: filia habuit, etc” (Ex placitis Coronae, No. 7, Guilelmi, filii Guilelmi, filii Roberti, Edward I, Term. Trin., Rot. 28, Ebor.). filii dicti Nigelli-nupta fuit Roberto

The old Saxon church of Saint Hilda on Pagan's manor of Hinderwell being in ruins, he built a new church some little distance south-east of the original edifice. Pagan's church appears to have been a substantial building, 61 feet long, a remarkably fine Norman arch separating nave and chancel. In April, 1773, this interesting edifice was wantonly destroyed, gunpowder being necessary to effect the outrage, and the present uninteresting church erected on its site.1

Pagan, however, is principally noted as being the founder of Kilton Castle.

The original capital of the fief was probably at Seaton, but the intestinal warfare and utter anarchy which prevailed at this time appear to have led Pagan to abandon his father's manor-house, and to select for the site of a new residence the promontory already described as existing on his manor of Kilton. Here, between 1135 and 1140, he founded the castle of Kilton, which subsequently gave name not only to the fief but to the family who held it.

Pagan probably felled the trees within bow-shot of the promontory, roughly hewing them into shape for the erection of the palisade. He then enclosed the summit of the ridge by a strong stockade of vertical-pointed beams driven well into the ground and firmly strengthened behind. The eastern and southern façades were effectually guarded by their precipitous slopes; on the north, where the ground fell away steeply but not actually precipitously, the palisading would be probably from 20 to 25 feet in height and of great strength; on the west a great ditch or fosse was carried right across the neck of the promontory until it merged into the ravine on either side, completely cutting it off from the adjacent ground.

As bearing upon the subsequent reconstruction of the castle by Sir William de Kylton, it is important to notice that the usual " Motte," or artificial mound, is conspicuous by its absence. Probably Pagan considered that the great natural strength of the site made the formation of a Motte" unnecessary. There is practically no doubt that the "palace," i.e. the hall, kitchen, private apartments, etc., was situate at the eastern end of the promontory, the stabling, outhouses, etc., at the western end.


1 It would appear that Pagan's Hall-a junior branch of the de Kyltons brother-in-law, William Fossard, may -claimed the Kilton half of the advowson have had some share in the erection of as male heirs to Pagan, but the claim the Norman church at Hinderwell, for would not appear to have been successful the patronage seems to have been held (Pedes Finium Ebor., 25-30 Henry III, jointly by the lords of Kilton and Mulgrave. In 1246, the de Setons of Seaton

No. 246).

The site was one which could easily and economically be made practically impregnable, and a castle such as that founded by Pagan could be erected in a very short time. For instance, it is recorded that the erection on Baile Hill, at York, of such a castle by William the Conqueror occupied only eight days. Probably nearly all the so-called “adulterine " castles, variously estimated at from 700 to 1,000 in number, hastily run up in the reign of Stephen, were after the style of Pagan's castle of Kilton.

Pagan had issue five sons, Walter, Osbert, Galfridus, Adam, and Richard, and two daughters, Helya and Matilda (Cartularium Prioratus de Gyseburne, Nos. 865 and 866, vol. ii, p. 147). He was probably buried at Hinderwell in the church he had built.

WALTER FITZ-PAGAN, third holder of the Kilton fief, Pagan's eldest son and heir, does not appear to have held the fief for any great length of time. He gave a bovate of land at Kilton to the Priory of Guisborough (Ibid., No. 868, vol. ii, p. 149). He was succeeded by his brother,

OSBERT DE KYLTON, fourth holder of the fief, who was the first to assume the surname of de Kylton.

He bore the arms Azure, a cross patee or. These arms were subsequently borne by Sir Simon Warde, High Sheriff of Yorkshire in the time of Edward II. There does not appear to have been any connection between the families of Kylton and Warde, but the former family was extinct by the time of Edward II. In 1875, a seal of this Osbert, showing the family arms, and bearing the inscription, “Sigillum Osberti de Kiltune," was in the possession of a Mr. Corner, wine merchant, of Whitby.

The natural strength of the castle would be so great that Osbert would probably be in no great hurry to replace his father's palisading by permanent walling. But the substitution of masonry for perishable stockading was a natural and logical sequence, and would take place gradually, yet within a comparatively short period of the foundation of the fortalice.

It may be that by 1160 Osbert had rudely walled in the entire promontory, the stones used being poor and small, and the workmanship indifferent. Roughly speaking, this walling would occupy the lines of the original stockading. The theory of masonry foundations was, however, so little understood at this time, and the sides of the promontory were so steep that it was probably found necessary, even previous to the commence



« PreviousContinue »