The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Cronk Sumark

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cronkshamerk; Primrose Hill

In the parish of Lezayre.
On the Isle of Man.

OS Map Grid Reference: SC392941
Latitude 54.31722° Longitude -4.47373°

Cronk Sumark has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a archaeological monument protected by law.


Cronkshamerk or Cronk Sumark. The sides of the hill to N and W are precipitous and require no artificial defence. The S side is steep but defended. The E side is a gradual slope and has the strongest defences. At the NW the hill rises to a steep peak which in the SW has been quarried away. The main defence is the inner of 2 banks which starts at the NE corner of the hill and encircles its eastern and southern sides. An outer and smaller bank starts close to the inner but diverges from it and may cut off the promontory to the E. The terraced road on the S which leads round the hill to the quarry and lies below the inner bank may be a continuation of this outer bank to the S. On the top of the hillinside these outer defences, and to the NW, are two square levelled platforms defended by banks and separated by two ditches and a causeway. The main inner bank was burnt and contained vitrified material. Burnt slate occured in one of the two small inner enclosures. Dr. Bersu suggested that the defences might be of several periods but in that case the main outer and inner banks did not appear on superficial evidence to be contemporary. There may be an entrance on the south. A possible example of a vitrified fort. Unexcavated and unplanned in detail (Cotton and Megaw 1946-50; Cotton 1954)
A good general report of the site but no justification could be found for the statement that the quarry road may be a continuation of the outer bank. No entrance was found through the outer defences. The inner fort 'B' is a grass covered almost square enclosure with average sides of 20.0m. It has an entrance 3.0m wide in the NE which leads down by a footway to a crude ditch which partially encircles the peak. The ditch is 5.0m wide amd 0.3m deep with a causeway 1.0m wide at E. 'B' is surrounded by a bank average 4.0m wide and 0.8 max inner height. Its outer slopes merge with the natural slopes of the peak. Between B and its twin peak A are 3 crude ditches with two intervening banks. The most westerly is the strongest and partially encircles A. This ditch is 3.0m wide and 1.5m deep. It has no causeway. Its outerbank fades to a weak glacis type bank with inner terrace 3.0m wide. The remaining two ditches each have a narrow causeway in line between A and B. The inner bank 'C' of the ?IA Hillfort is of glacis type with weak unsurveyable traces of an inner slope. The outer bank 'D' is stronger and consists of a terrace ave 7.0m wide with a spasmodic bank on its outer lip. The bank has an ave inner ht of 0.2m. The outer slopes of C and D merge with the natural hill slopes. No trace of a water supply was found. A notice indicates that it is protected (F1 JR 04-NOV-55). (PastScape)

Iron Age fort with some vitrfication, having an inner citadel, like that of the Herefordshire Beacon. (King 1983)

Comments (by Philip Davis)

Called a 'possible' castle by King (1983) although he tended to use this term for sites for which he had significant doubts.
While re-occupation of the pre-historic fort is not impossible, and the location has attractions as a centre to control the northern part of the island, there is no actual evidence of any medieval re-occupation that was military or by a high status individual. However, Megaw had thought the fortress was used by the 'Kings of Man in the Early Medieval Period' (Cotton 1954) and Megaw (1950) also writes 'the modern farmhouse just below the ramparts on the east probably occupies the site of a medieval grange and a lost Cistercian monastery' and was, traditionally, the site of a manorial court and gallows. It may be the fort itself was too inconvenient to access, particular on horse back, for medieval occupation but that a small manorial centre on its flanks maintained some of the ancient status of the site.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   Vision of Britain   Geology          
Air Photos >
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   Flashearth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of English Heritage, the various governments of the islands, other organisations and individuals. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown.
Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated on Tuesday, April 18, 2017