« PreviousContinue »
tower at the north-east angle; this he replaced by a very fine apsidal Early English tower, which is now the most interesting portion of the ruins. About the same time he erected a large rectangular mural tower, approximating in shape to a rectangular keep, in the centre of the northern façade. In a later or more perfect example of the Enceintric castle, the latter tower would probably have been apsidal or cylindrical, and not rectangular in shape. The north-east tower is set at an angle to the other portions of the eastern façade, which may have been caused by the presence at this angle of more permanent structures than at any other part of the fortalice. The whole of this work was apparently done between 1190 and 1200, and a chantry chapel, dedicated to Saint Peter, appears to have been erected along the northern curtain between the north-east tower and the northern rectangular tower, which is described in the charters referring to it (Cart. Prior. de Gyseburne, Nos. 778, 779, and 867) as being "infra castellum de Kylton."
Barely was this work finished when the danger of having the west wall of the rectangular tower, which contained a well stair, outside the walls of the enceinte was evidently realised. These well stairs had been proved to be the most vulnerable parts of a tower, consequently the northern curtain west of the tower was rebuilt and thrown boldly outwards, probably about 1205, in order to bring the west wall of the tower within the walls of the enceinte. That this was an after-thought is shown by the fact that the wall does not bond in with the tower. A little later a doorway was made into the basement chamber of the northern rectangular tower which, perhaps, was hardly an advisable thing to do. About the same time, possibly circa 1210, the northern curtain between the north-east and the rectangular tower was strengthened, and a small apsidal tower built a short distance east of the rectangular tower. The greater part of the northern curtain was now thoroughly enfiladed in the approved Enceintric style.
As a very steep precipice fell away from the foot of the southern curtain just as it does at Carreg Cennen, the south-east tower was omitted as at Carreg Cennen, whilst at the south-west angle there was merely a solid angle buttress and not a tower, precisely as at Carreg Cennen.
Probably just before his death, Sir William constructed the ward outside the promontory to protect the entrance, this ward being defended by light walls of masonry and by an elaborate system of fosses, moats, and earthworks.
Had the portion of the castle mentioned as remaining unaltered at the extreme western end been rebuilt in keeping with the remainder of the new structure, as Sir William doubtless intended, we should have had at Kilton a castle very closely approximating to the accepted type of fortress of the earlier Enceintric class.
But Sir Richard de Alta Ripa, Sir William's successor, immediately upon his accession, would appear to have become involved in a feud with Peter de Malo Lacu, or de Mauley, Baron of Mulgrave, the chief adherent in this part of Yorkshire of King John. He may have found this particular portion of the fortalice already pulled down with a view to its reconstruction, and instead of rebuilding it of new and excellent material to match the remainder of the structure, he apparently, in a very hurried way, put it together again, using up the old materials in this rebuilding. He constructed a large block of buildings, probably used as barracks and stabling, on the site of the original Norman stabling at this point. This work was probably done about 1214.
It is somewhat extraordinary that subsequent lords of the castle did not finish the work begun by Sir William, and that the Thwengs-admittedly powerful and influential barons-did not put the western end of the fortalice into better condition. Probably, however, this large block of buildings was rarely used, and then only by inferior domestics (the basement was probably the castle stabling), so that the owners may have considered it good enough for the purposes to which it was put.
The only alteration made to the castle subsequent to 1214 was the construction, possibly about 1260, of a strong wall running north to south across the enclosure near the large rectangular tower, thus dividing the space into two wards, and the erection of a small inner gate-house tower abutting upon the southern interior wall of the rectangular tower.
It was from Sir William de Kylton that the Prior and Canons of Guisborough extorted the long-coveted grant of the advowson of Kirkleatham Church. More than half the present parish of Kirkleatham was then the property of the Priory, but the patronage of the parish church was in the hands of the de Kyltons. Time after time had the Canons endeavoured to induce the then reigning head of the house to grant them the advowson, but in vain. Of all the de Kyltons, Sir William seems to have been the most susceptible to clerical influence.
A headstrong and dissolute man, he appears to have been subject to violent fits of remorse. His domestic life does not appear to have been a very happy one, and he had no children. His wife was Alice, daughter of Conan Fitz-Henry, of Liverton, who, according to a Roll of Arms, temp. Edward III, bore the arms Argent, a cross engrailed gules.1
Taking advantage of a very serious illness, when Sir William lay apparently on his death-bed, and "fuit in lecto mortali et in tali tempore quo non fuit potens sui," Laurence, Prior of Gisborough, at length persuaded him to part with the advow
Willelmus de Kiltona.
me divinae intuitu
Deo etc. cum corpore meo totam Ecclesiam de Lyum cum omnibus pert. suis sine ullo retenemento, in pur. et lib. et perp. elem." (Cart. Prior. de Gyseburne, No. 745).
Usually, for the sake of economy, the Prior waited until a number of gifts had accumulated, and then had them all taken in a batch to receive the royal confirmation. But in this particular case, scarcely had the last witness affixed his signature to the charter, when, regardless of expense, the SubPrior was despatched in haste to find the King and obtain his confirmation of the grant of the long-coveted advowson. The King was found at Bristol, and on the 17th September, 1210, he confirmed the gift (Ibid., No. 750).2
But on recovering from his illness, Sir William absolutely repudiated his grant, declaring that it had been extorted from him when, owing to pain and illness, his mind was temporarily
1 Conan Fitz-Henry, of Liverton, William de Kylton's father-in-law, held the manors of Manfield and Kelfield under the Earl of Richmond, and was the father of Henry Fitz-Conan who, as William's brother-in-law, appears the first witness to his charter of gift of the advowson of Kirkleatham Church. He was a knight of some distinction.
Henry Fitz-Conan, grandson and heir of Henry Fitz-Conan, succeeded to the family estates in 1299, at the age of 22 years, having been born at Sockburn (Calendarium Genealogium, ii, 597). As the holder of the manor of Liverton, he was one of the feudatories of Marmaduke de Thweng I.
2 Johannes, Dei gratia Rex Angliae, et Dominus Hiberniae, Dux Normanniae et Aquitaniae, Comes Andegraviae, Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Abbatibus, Comitibus, Baronibus, Justiciariis, Vicecomitibus, Praepositis, et omnibus Balli
vis et fidelibus suis, salutem. Sciatis nos concessisse et hac carta nostra confirmasse Deo, etc. Ecclesiam de lyum cum omnibus pert. suis, quam Willelmus de Kilton, patronus ejusdem Ecclesiae, dedit eisdem Can. cum corpore suo, in lib. pur. et perp. elem. Quare volumus et firmiter praecipimus, quod iidem Can. habeant et teneant Ecclesiam cum omnibus pert. suis inperp. bene et in pace, libere et quiete, integre et plenarie, sicut carta praedicti Willelmi quam inde habent rationabaliter testatur. Testibus. Domino Petro Winton, Episcopo, Willelmo, Comite Sarisburniensi, fratre meo, Willelmo Briwerre, Petro de Bruys, Carino filio Geroldi, Henrico filio Comitis, Willelmo de Cantilupo, Galfrido de Lucy, Galfrido Luterel. Data per inanum Ricardi de Marisco apud Bristoll, xvii die Septembris, anno regni nostri xii.
unhinged. But just before his death, in 1213, he appears to have twice confirmed the original grant (Ibid., Nos. 746, 747).
He was interred in the north aisle of the chancel of the original Norman Priory Church at Guisborough, and historical inferences would go to prove that the effigy erected over his tomb was still in existence at the time of the Dissolution.
SIR OSBERT DE KYLTON, eighth holder of the fief, only appears to have survived his brother William for a few weeks. By his wife, probably a daughter of Sir Ralph Fitz-Randolph, Knt., of Spennithorne, Richmondshire, who bore the arms, Or, a chief indented azure, he had issue an only daughter and heiress, Matilda, born April, 1200.
On Osbert's death in 1213, the fief reverted to the overlord, de Percy, who at once gave the heiress, then a girl some 12 years of age, in marriage to his relative, Sir Richard de Alta Ripa, Knt.
SIR RICHARD DE ALTA RIPA, who, in right of his wife, became the ninth holder of the fief, was descended from Sir Joceline de Alta Ripa, a nephew of the Joceline de Loraine (son of Godfrey, Duke of Loraine, and Count of Brabant, and brother of Queen Adeliza, second wife of Henry I), who married Agnes, one of the daughters and heiresses of William, third feudal baron de Percy. Josceline of Loraine assumed the name of Percy, but retained his paternal arms, Or, a lion rampant azure. His nephew, Josceline de Alta Ripa, assumed the ancient arms of the Percies, Azure, five fusils in fesse or (Sussex Archæological Society, vi , p. 36).
Sir Richard became at once involved in a feud with Peter de Mauley, 1st Baron of Mulgrave and Lord of Doncaster, the chief adherent in this part of Yorkshire of King John. De Mauley, says Matthew Paris (Chronica Majora, ii, 532), was one of the most evil of the vicious counsellors of King John, and, says Graves (p. 297, History of Cleveland), "being much in his (King John's) confidence during the insurrections of the barons, divers of them being made prisoners, were committed. to his custody."
De Mauley was a Poictevin, and as a boy attracted the attention of King John, then Prince, who, taking a great fancy to him, persuaded his mother, a widow, to permit the boy to accompany him to England (Chronicon de Melsa, i, 105). In 1202, when Peter was about 18 years of age, John gave him certain lands in Normandy (Rotuli Normannie, 66). Walter of Hemingburgh's assertion (Ibid., i, 232) that Peter was the
actual murderer of Prince Arthur, and that as a reward for this foul deed John gave him the heiress of the barony of Mulgrave as his wife, must be received with reserve. The murder of Prince Arthur took place at Rouen, April 3rd, 1203, and it was not until 1213, or even 1214, that Peter married the heiress, Isabel de Turnham, and he was compelled to pay a very heavy sum for the marriage (Excerpta è Rot. Finium, i, 54, states the sum to have been 7,000 marcs). William of Newburgh, a contemporary annalist of repute, who lived in the neighbourhood, makes no reference to any such suspicion, and historical inferences would all tend to disprove Hemingburgh's assertion.
However this may be, de Mauley was undoubtedly a very vicious, violent, and unprincipled man, and as Alta Ripa was a strong supporter of the baronial party, the two neighbours seem to have been constantly at variance.
As it is by no means improbable that Kilton Castle, about 1215-1216, was actually besieged by de Mauley, it can hardly be out of place to briefly mention the methods of attack and defence which would probably be employed.
Owing to the great natural strength of the site, we may take it that no commander would attempt a coup de main, unless he were prepared to lose a disproportionately large number of men in the attack. The southern and eastern façades were unapproachable, owing to the precipices guarding them; the northern façade, where the slope was somewhat less steep, was thoroughly enfiladed by boldly projecting mural towers; the western façade, the weakest part of the fortalice, was very short in length, and the besieged could, therefore, mass a number of men at this point, and it was guarded by outworks, an outer ward, and a deep fosse.
In order to attack the castle with any hope of success, siege engines would have to be employed. According to Camden, when King John besieged Bedford Castle he brought into action seven large Trebuchets, one of which was sufficiently large to throw heavy mill-stones into the castle; when the Dauphin lay siege to Berkhampstead, in 1216, eight of these machines were used, and the artificial platforms of earth on which they stood still remain; and when, in 1224, Henry III attacked Bedford, his train of artillery contained two Beffrois and seven Trebuchets.
The Trebuchet was the most formidable engine used in a siege at this time; it weighed from five to ten tons. A wooden arm, sometimes exceeding 40 feet in length, was pivoted into