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Aldborough Studforth Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Stuteville; Stodart; Stodhart; Vetus Burgus; The Stadium

In the civil parish of Boroughbridge.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE40656596
Latitude 54.08795° Longitude -1.38004°

Aldborough Studforth Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Outside the south east corner of Isurium is a raised platform or earthwork 70 yds. long and 10 yds. wide, called the Stadium. It is thought to have been the place for the celebration of games and races (Lawson-Tancred, 1948)).
In the same vicinity is a bowl-shaped depression interpreted by Collingwood as an amphitheatre but shown on this plan as an embanked enclosure (Collingwood, 1930).
A partial section of its northern 'bank' in 1935 showed that it was apparently natural (YAJ, 1959).
On the south side of the Stadium is Studforth Hill which in Leland's time resembled a castle. Although it has since been ploughed over, it still has traces of a bailey and is listed as a motte and bailey (VCH, 1912).
In its present form, Studforth Hill has no resemblance to a normal castle mound or motte. The remains, however, when associated with the Stadium and the "bowl-shaped depression", indicate a former enclosure of some strength which seems to amount to a type of ring motte or ring earthwork. It is probable that part of the scarp forming the raised platform of the Stadium is, in fact, the north end of an oval shaped ring work, and that Studforth Hill is the southern end. The bowl-shaped depression is between these banks and would seem to be the remains of the cratered interior after ploughing had levelled the east and west sides. This ploughing has resulted in the lateral scarping and the general raising of the ground level giving a platform effect. There are no traces of a separate bailey or of any ditch (F1 EC Waight/27-JUN-1963/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigation).
Studforth Hill is a ploughed-out motte, probably the Vetus Burgus of the Pipe Rolls 1205-6 (and Rot.Chart 44) (Renn).
A castle is documented at Aldborough in 1158-75, when it was in royal hands, and from 1175-1205 when it was in baronial hands, at which time it was called Stuteville. It was confiscated by the Crown in 1205 (Allen Brown).
The crescent shaped remains of Studforth Hill and a scarp slope that marks the northern end of the feature known as the Stadium are both visible as earthworks on historic and recent air photos and on lidar-derived images. at SE4065 6586. The mound or hill measures approximately 61m across. It overlooks to the north an area labelled as the Stadium on the Ordnance Survey map of 1893. The scarp slope appears to demarcate the northern and eastern side of the Stadium. The interior contains medieval ridge and furrow. (PastScape)

This appears to have originally been a Roman amphitheatre serving the nearby town of Isurium Brigantum. Reuse of a Roman amphitheatre as a medieval ringwork can also be seen at Silchester in Hampshire.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:49

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