« PreviousContinue »
Henry II, succeeded St. Barbara in January, 1153,1 and repaired Northallerton Castle, which, at a later date, he arranged to garrison, apparently in agreement with William the Lion, king of Scotland, with 40 knights and 500 Flemings, under his nephew Hugh, Count of Bar.4 But on the very day (13 July, 1174) these mercenaries landed at Hartlepool, the Scottish king was captured at Alnwick, and, immediately on hearing the news, Puiset sent the Flemings back to their own country although he despatched the Count of Bar and the 40 knights to augment the garrison at Northallerton. Knowing that resistance was now useless, the rebels and conspirators having been deprived of the aid they expected from Scotland, he submitted to the king at Nottingham, surrendering his castles of Durham, Norham, and Northallerton, but in spite of his prompt submission he had great difficulty in obtaining the king's pardon for the garrison of Northallerton.5 The castle was dismantled and destroyed by order of Henry II in 1174.6
Description.-Northallerton, the official capital of the North Riding, is a sleepy, old-fashioned town, possessing no objects of interest beyond the church and the site of the Bishops' Palace, and consisting principally of one long, wide street, with broad cobbled pavements, lined with dull old houses. The antiquary who expects to find the enormous motte and the mighty earthworks of the Norman castle of the Prince-Bishops will be disappointed. All that now remains to mark its site is a fragment of what was the eastern rampart of the bailey, for the North Eastern Railway has put a finishing touch to the work of destruction commenced by Henry II.7
The fortress stood on relatively elevated ground with a wide and extensive view for miles over the low-lying ground, with on one side the Hambledon and on the other side the Richmondshire hills blue and hazy in the distance. Leland says: “At
the high mounds, which were very formidable, and filled up the deep trenches, and afterwards the north terrace, which, with the rampart or terrace on the east side (still remaining), formed a kind of crescent or half-circle. A strong pavement of stones, about 2 feet below the surface and three or four courses deep, firmly set in lime, was removed, several score loads being sold to the overseers of the highways" In 1838 the remainder of the earthworks-with the exception of the fragment of the eastern rampart, still remaining (see plan)-were levelled on the construction of the Great North of England (now the North Eastern) Railway.
the west end of Northallerton, a little from the cherche, is the Bishop of Durham's palace, strongly builded and well motid, and a two flite shottes from it west-north-west be the ditches and the dungeon hill where the castelle of Alverton sumtime stode."
NORTHALLERTON, BISHOPS' PALACE (fig. 4).
History. The origin of this castle is uncertain, but it would appear exceedingly probable that, in order to raise money for the Crusade, Richard I sold to the Bishops of Durham the right to build a second castle at Northallerton.2 The earthworks marking the site of this fortress stand on the banks of the Sun Beck, about 200 yards west of the church. When the castle developed works in masonry is unknown, but the stockading of the motte would not appear to have ever been replaced by stonework, and there is no doubt that the building developed more on the lines of a moated manor-house than on those of a feudal castle, and that the motte was lowered, and abandoned as part of the edifice. The house was evidently in good repair when Leland wrote, in the reign of Henry VIII; but Richard Franck, writing in 1658, describes the place as then being "demolished with age and the ruins of time," and as serving a receptacle for bats and buzzards, owls, and jackdaws." In 1663 John Cosin, bishop of Durham, gave the stone from the ruins of the manor-house to Mr. Thomas Lascelles, of Northallerton, for the purpose of rebuilding the Castle Mills, and executing some repairs in connection with various houses in the Market Place. Langdale, writing in 1791, states that not the smallest vestige of the building was then in existence, but adds that about thirty years previously there was a large fragment of
1 Although this castle would not appear to have been founded until the last decade of the twelfth century, it was, in its original form, a typical Norman stronghold, and as such will be more conveniently dealt with now than in a future article.
2 The right was probably sold to Hugh Puiset when King Richard sold him the earldom of Northumberland in 1189. Philip Peytevin, a native of Aquitaine, and one of the king's privy councillors, was elected Bishop of Durham, 4 Jan., 1195-6 (G. Coldingham, Hist. Dunelm. Scriptores Tres., Surtees Soc., 17). The election was confirmed at Northallerton, in the presence of Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, who had come to York as Legate (Roger of Houeden Chron., Rolls Ser.,
iii, 308). This would lead one to imagine that the new castle was finished prior to 1195. Evidently Puiset was not permitted to refortify the formidable earthworks which marked the site of the stronghold of his predecessors-this, one would imagine, would certainly have been done had not such an act been expressly forbidden—and it would therefore be necessary to construct an entirely new residence.
3 Indeed, if we eliminate the mottewhich may have been abandoned at a comparatively early date-we get a typical mediæval moated manor-house.
4 He describes it as strong of building and well motid," and in the Bishops' accounts, preserved at Durham, are several entries in connection with payments for keeping swans on the moat.
the Gate House still standing.1 The moated enclosure is now used as a cemetery.
Description. The motte, which is about 160 feet in diameter at its base, and which lies to the south-west of the bailey, has evidently been lowered. It is defended on the south and west by its own ditch, and on the east by the broad bailey ditch. The bailey, which is irregular in shape, and covers some 2 acres, measures about 510 feet in extreme length from north to south, by about 330 feet in extreme breadth from east to west. It is defended by a formidable dry ditch, some 60 feet in width, which was, when the "Palace" or manor-house was inhabited, filled with water. The bold broad counterscarp of this ditch still remains in fair preservation on the west and partially on the south. The entrance to the bailey-and the site of the stone Gatehouse was in the centre of the eastern side.
PICKERING (fig. 5).
History. At the time of the Survey, Pickering was an important royal manor of 37 carucates with sokes aggregating other 50 carucates attached to it, and was the caput of an Honour retained by the king in his own hands. Although the earliest known mention of the castle occurs in the Pipe Rolls of 26 Henry II, there appears to be little doubt that this interesting and important castle was founded by the Conqueror, possibly c. 1071. It is an excellent example of the gradual evolution of an Early Norman earth-and-timber stronghold into a shell-keep fortress, and will be more fully described in a later article.
Owing to the fact that Pickering has been cited as an anomaly, owing to the fact that the motte is now central, it is
A stranger to the North Riding, as he is whirled northward in an express from York to Darlington, may be excused if he were to form the opinion that the district is singularly devoid of mediaval military remains. The only relic of the kind which will come to his notice is a slighted motte and a moated cemetery at Northallerton which marks the site of the palace of the bishops of Durham. 2 D.B., fo. 229a, col. 2.
3 In operatione domorum regis in castello de Pikeringa, £6 10s.
Mr. A. Hamilton Thompson, in his excellent work, Military Architecture in England during the Middle Ages," says (p. 43): "The mount might VOL. XXII.
be within the enclosure, even, as at Pickering, in its centre.' The writer has met with several castles in France where the motte occupies a central position. It is possible that in one or two of these examples this arrangement may be due, as at Pickering, to the subsequent addition of a second ward; but, owing to a lack of knowledge of the history of these fortresses, the writer is unable to express an opinion on the point. At Gisors (Eure), founded by Rufus, the motte was originally, as usual, on the enceinte. It was made central, as at Pickering, by Henry I, who doubled the size of the bailey and walled it in, making it practically circular in shape instead of semi-circular.
important to notice that in its original form, and for some 110 years subsequent to its foundation, the fortress consisted only of the motte, and what is now the inner or northern bailey, and the plan given on fig. 5 shows the fortress in its original form, and as it existed at the time of the accession of Henry II. The outer or southern bailey is certainly not of a date anterior to 1182. Between 11821 and 11862 Henry II appears to have converted the stronghold into a stone castle by erecting a wall round the original bailey, and it seems very probable that he, at the same time, added the outer or southern bailey, which he would defend with timber palisading. The masonry of the outer bailey was not erected until the reign of Edward II. King John visited Pickering more than once.7
Description (as in 1154).-Pickering is an old-fashioned and rather dull market-town, pleasantly situated on the southern verge of Blackamore. The castle stands on a cliff above the Pickering Beck at the north-west end of the town, and commands extensive and beautiful views. Not only is it a very defensible site, but it was only some two miles from the Roman road leading from Malton Malton (Derventio ?) via Cawthorn Camp (Delgontia ?) to Dunsley Bay (Prætorium ?), a road which linked up the Fossard castle near Lythe, the Stuteville castle of Cropton, and the de Vesci fortress of Malton.
3 The writer is indebted to Mrs. Armitage for the following interesting and valuable note on Pickering Castle, viz.: 1218. The county of York was committed to the royal chamberlain, Geoffrey de Neville. Out of the revenues of the shire he was to maintain the castles of Scarborough and Pickering.
1220. An inquisition ordered as to what Geoffrey de Neville had spent on the castle of Pickering since the peace between the king and Louis, and in what state the castle was when Geoffrey took possession, how much was standing and how much was fallen, or had been thrown down. Close Rolls, i, 436a.
At some probably late date in Henry III's reign, Pickering Castle was given by the king to his second son, Edmund, along with several other important castles (Cal. Rot. Chart., 94). Edmund cannot have done much to Pickering Castle, as when it escheated to Edward I on Edmund's death, an inquisition of
1296 reports that it is a castrum
He dates from Pickering a charter to the nuns of Wykeham, Feb. 1, 1201. In Close Rolls, i, 114 (1208), there is an entry for repairs at the castle ordered by the king. In the Mise Roll (1210), p. 159 (Cole's edition), King John is stated to have lost 1os. at Pickering to the Earl of Salisbury in playing at backgammon. In the Pipe Rolls, 1210, repairs aggregating £4 IIS. 2d. are mentioned to the castelli, domorum, et pontium."
The remarkably fine motte, one of the best preserved in the North Riding, is 44 feet in height, and measures 75 feet in diameter at the summit and about 220 feet at its base. It is surrounded by a broad circular ditch, which joins the bailey ditch on either side. At the time with which we are dealing, viz. the year 1154, the motte would probably be crowned by a strong palisade enclosing a timber keep of no great size. In the reign of Edward II a shell keep was erected on the summit.1
The original, or northern bailey, is half-moon shaped, and covers an area of about an acre and a tenth, measuring some 380 feet in length from north-east to south-west, by some 120 feet in width. It would, in 1154. be enclosed by a strong palisade occupying the site of the present stone curtains, erected by Henry II c. 1182-1186.2 This palisade would be carried up the sides of the motte, being replaced in later times by the stone wall which now occupies the same position. The fortress was admirably protected on the north by a scarped hillside, and on the north-east and south-west sides was a ditch, the counterscarp of which carried an additional stockade.3 The timber great hall was probably, from the first, placed in the bailey, possibly against the northern stockade.1
PICKERING, BEACON HILL (fig. 5).
History. We know nothing whatever of the history of this earthwork. It is a motte castle, devoid of a bailey, and may possibly represent the original stronghold erected by the Conqueror, but it is very much more likely that it is a siege castle constructed during the course of some unrecorded blockade of the royal fortress, possibly during the intestinal warfare of the time of Stephen.5
1 If we allow 20 feet-a by no means generous allowance, 30 feet would probably be nearer the mark-for the stockade and fighting platform, the space available for the timber tower would be some 50 feet and, as it would have to stand clear, it is improbable that this keep would be more than 40 feet square.
In the northern curtain is a Late Norman doorway, which may have been a postern in connection with Henry II's timber great hall. It seems very improbable that Henry II constructed a stone great hall when he walled in the original bailey-the expenses in connection with the work not being heavy enough to have covered the erection of such a hall. Leland, writing in the reign of Henry VIII, referring to this portion of the castle, says: "In
the ynner court be also four toures, whereof the Kepe is one. The castelle waulles and the toures be meatly welle. The loggings yn the ynner court that be of timbre be in ruine. In this inner court is a chapelle and a cantuarie prest." See Yorks. Arch. Journal, x, 323.
3 An inquisition of c. 1298 mentions the work of the hurcinium, or palisade on this counterscarp (Yorks. Rec. Ser., xxxi, 73).
There is no evidence that there was ever a stone great hall.
5 A short distance south-west of Corfe Castle, Dorset, are some earthworks, called "The Rings," which probably mark the site of a siege castle constructed by Stephen when he unsuccessfully besieged Corfe Castle in 1139. Henry I erected a siege castle on what