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Killerby Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kilwardby; Kilwardeby; Killarby

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SE258960
Latitude 54.35901° Longitude -1.60333°

Killerby Castle has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are no visible remains.

Description

At Killerby, west of Appleton, may still be traced the foundations of the castle built in a strong position by Brian Fitz Alan, lord of Bedale. (VCH)

Soon after the Conquest, Killerby was granted by the Earl of Richmond to Schollandus of Bedale, his Sewer. His granddaughter Agnes carried it in marriage to Brian Fitz-Alan, one of whose descendants, in the 19th of Edward I. (1291), had a license to make a Castle at his Manor of Kilwardeby. Leland says that "the Lord Lovell had a Castelle at Killerby, within a quarter of a mile of the ripe citerioris of Swale, a myle benethe Katerik Bridge: there appeare," he continues, "greate ruines." And in another place the "royal antiquary" observes, " Mastar Metcalfe hierithe the lordshipe of the Kinge. Some say that ther cam water by couductus into the topps of some of the towers."
From the situation of this Castle it might have bidden defiance to any force that could have been brought against it. Being entirely insulated by water to a very considerable distance, and in a flat country, it would be approached by a very narrow causeway. Killerby Carr extended as low down as Kirkby Fleetham, and was filled with bulrushes and aquatic trees. Though thus situated it stood on a fine sloping bank of 20 or 30 acres, that gradually rose from the edge of the water. From the foundations which have been discovered, the Castle must have been of great magnitude. At what time it fell into ruin is not known. In the Church of Bedale is a monumental effigy of Sir Brian Fitz-Alan, Earl of Arundell, the founder of the Castles of Bedale and Killerby.
The present mansion, Killerby Hall, the seat of John B. Booth, Ear, occupies the site of the Castle. It is a substantial square building, situated on a gentle slope, and in well-wooded and well-watered grounds. (Whellan 1859)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1291 Sept 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

Said to be the site of an earlier motte and bailey but the evidence for this seems slight and may be a confabulation with the nearby motte and bailey of Killerby Castle Hills. The PastScape record suggests there is some question as to the location of the licenced house although there can be little real doubt that it was on, or very near to, the site occupied by Killerby Hall. The form of house, whilst not absolutely known, certainly seems to have included several towers and to have been moated.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 14/04/2017 19:57:36

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