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Little Kelk

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Nunnery Hill

In the civil parish of Kelk.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of East Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 county of Humberside.
Medieval County of Yorkshire East Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: TA095601
Latitude 54.02370° Longitude -0.32932°

Little Kelk has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Any village of Little Kelk probably stood at the junction of roads leading to Lowthorpe, Burton Agnes, and Great Kelk. A causeway crossing the Great Kelk road was described in 1850 as the track of a paved road, and there are other earthworks to the west, in Ash garths. These features forming no coherent pattern, may mark the site of a grange established here by Bridlington Priory, rather than a village site. Nunnery Hill in Ash garths appears to be a tumulus (VCH). There is little on the ground apart from a linear superficial depression in Ash Garths, which suggests a former roadway, and tends to support the claim of a village here rather than a grange. One of two large stones set into the crossroads noted by the VCH may represent remnants of the paved causeway. 'Nunnery Hill' is a ploughed-down mound 42.0m diameter and 1.7m high. According to the farmer, prior to being bulldozed during the war it was about 15ft high and ditched (OS 25" 1926 confirms this). As it stands, it appears large for a tumulus, and in view of the farmer's evidence, Nunnery Hill seems likely to have been a small motte (Field Investigators Comments–F1 RE 19-AUG-74). (PastScape)

A ploughed and spread mound, 30 by 20 m., initially observed on an aerial photograph, has been located by H. G. Ramm. After autumn ploughing a chamfered stone plinth with Norman tooling was found on the mound, while to the E. 15th-century pottery and oyster shells lay in the plough-soil. (Med. Arch.)

Jean le Patourel writes granted to Bridlington Priory in 1271. Was this a small village with manorial site, with a small motte, that failed to develop and was, therefore, relatively easy to grant to Bridlington? A village failing to develop in the C13 (when there was generally considerable population growth) would be a rare event but could have happened.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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