« PreviousContinue »
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.
KILTON UNDER THE DE KYLTONS.
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
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
ment of the reconstruction in 1190 by Sir William de Kylton, to rebuild, or at any rate strengthen, this walling. But Osbert was quite content, in all probability, to reside in the wooden
palace” erected by his father, merely replacing the timber curtain by one of masonry.
He gave two oxgangs and a toft in Kirkleatham and two bovates of land at Kilton to the Priory (Ibid., No. 865, vol. ii, p. 147). He married a daughter, name unknown, of Conan Fitz-Henry, a feudatory of the Earl of Richmond, who bore the arms Argent, a cross engrailed gules (Roll of Arms, temp. Edward III, ed. Nicholas). He died about 1170, and was buried in the west end of the north aisle of the chancel of Guisborough Priory, and a permanent memorial, which evidently survived the destruction of the Priory Church by fire in June, 1289, appears to have been erected over his grave.
Leaving no issue, he was succeeded by his brother,
ADAM DE KYLTON, the fifth holder of the fief. He confirmed Osbert's gifts to the Priory (Cart. Prior. de Gyseburne, No. 866), and married a daughter of William de Tameton, the Seneschal to Peter de Brus, who bore the arms Sable, a lion rampant or, and who was related to the famous Mowbray family.
He was succeeded by his son,
SIR ILGERUS DE KYLTON, the sixth holder of the fief, who gave, with the consent of William, his eldest son and heir, two oxgangs of land in Kirkleatham to the Priory of Guisborough (Ibid., No. 771). He married a daughter of Alan de Wilton, and had issue five sons—William, Adam, Osbert, Ralph, and Richard (Ibid., Nos. 745-747, 865, and 866). He died about 1186, and was probably interred in Kirkleatham Church.
SIR WILLIAM DE KYLTON, seventh holder of the fief, was the most famous of the de Kyltons, and practically the builder of the castle, the remains of which we see to-day.
Under the iron rule of the second Henry, special licences to build castles, or to add to the defences of existing structures, had to be obtained. When, however, Richard I came to the throne, in order to raise money for his expedition to the Holy Land, he granted these licences with reckless indifference, and when he had departed many were built or strengthened without the formality of obtaining any licence at all. Kilton was one of these castles.
1 Alan de Wilton was a man of some note in his time, and died about 1219.
In 1190, it was merely a more or less strongly - walled enclosure, without rectangular, shell, or Juliet keep, and with a “palace" constructed of timber. Consequently, William was not hampered by important existing buildings of a permanent character. He, therefore, in his reconstruction, merely made the best use of the natural features of the site, not strictly following any of the former principles of castellation. But the structure he erected may be considered a fair example of the earlier class of castles of the Enceintric or Keepless type, the predecessors of the magnificent Concentric, or, as they are commonly called, Edwardian fortresses. So far as the writer is aware, and he has visited every castle between the Trent and the Tweed, Kilton is the earliest example in the north of England of a castle of the Enceintric type, just as the neighbouring castle of Danby is the earliest example of the fortress-palace type. Both the magnificent Norman castle of Newark-on-Trent and the formidable fortress of Cockermouth are keepless, but they cannot be classed as Enceintric, as they are devoid of the bold flanking towers which are the main feature of this class, whilst Alnwick, another Norman castle, which possesses flanking towers of the drum variety, is really a fortress of the shell-keep type.
The main characteristic of the Enceintric type was that the keep was abandoned altogether, or, as in some of the earliest examples, retained in the Juliet form, but relegated to the position of being the largest of the flanking mural towers; and this new class of fortress depended for its defence on a lofty and massive wall of enceinte completely enfiladed, where necessary, by projecting apsidal, cylindrical, or three-quarter round towers of bold external but little internal projection.
This particular type of castle can only properly be studied in Wales or on the Welsh border, where the earliest and finest examples are to be found. Carreg Cennan, standing on a terrific precipice with a drop of some 500 feet, perhaps the most picturesque castle in the world. Caergwrle, Chirk, Carew, Castroggy, Grosmont, Pencoed, Llanfair, the beautiful castle of Manorbier, and the gloomy, grim, gaunt Whitecastle, are wellknown examples.
Sir William reconstructed the whole of Kilton with the exception of the extreme western end. He appears to have commenced operations at the eastern end, rebuilding the private apartments there, or rather replacing the timber rooms by permanent structures of masonry. There was probably a small Norman