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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Wheldrake; Thornton; Storthwaite; Hall Hills

In the civil parish of Cottingwith.
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: SE71234391
Latitude 53.88650° Longitude -0.91777°

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

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The Ros manor-house at Storwood was mentioned in 1285 and was described as ruinous in 1343; the site, at the south end of the hamlet, is still surrounded by a prominent moat. It may have contained a chapel, for in 1414 Beatrice de Ros left £20 for a chaplain to celebrate mass in Storwood chapel. In 1639 John Bradley was living at Storwood, though apparently not in the manor-house. The present Manor House is a mainly 19th-century. (VCH)

A large moated site to the south of the village of Storwood; it is situated on ground above the Pocklington Canal and the old course of the River Derwent. It includes a sub-rectangular island 90m long, north-south, and 70m wide, east-west, which is defined by a dry moat which is between 10m and 25m wide and between 1.5m and 3m deep. Immediately external to the northern and eastern arms of the moat there is an earthen bank 7m wide and up to 1.5m high. An earthen bank is also visible immediately external to the moat's western arm; it is between 5m and 9m wide and is up to 1m high. Water-management features extend from the south-western and north-western corners of the moat, both features are overflow channels designed to carry water from the moat to the river course. Excess water was carried away by these two channels which ran off to the west from the moat's western arm. The channel which runs from the north-west corner is 10m wide and up to 2m deep. Where this channel connects with the moat it has been partially dammed with an earth bank; the 2m wide gap in this dam would have held wooden sluices to control the water. There are flanking earthen banks 5m wide and up to 1m high immediately external to the drainage channels. The features at the south- western corner are more complex than those to the north. Here the western arm of the moat has been subdivided by an earthen bank 15m long, 4m wide and 0.5m high. This connects with a large bank 6m wide and 5m long which extends into the moat from the west and which is believed to have been a bridge platform affording access to the island. Close to the bridge platform there is a 1m wide break in the dividing earthen bank which would have held wooden sluice gates. The section of the moat to the west of the dividing bank connects with a heavily silted channel between 8m and 10m wide and up to 0.5m deep which runs westwards toward the old river course. Both drainage channels have been truncated to the west by works associated with the construction of the Pocklington canal. A heavily silted channel 0.3m wide and 0.15m deep runs into the southern arm of the moat; this channel is interpreted as a post-medieval field drain as it connects to other drainage features and boundary ditches. The monument is believed to have belonged to the De Roos family who built Helmsley Castle and held property right across Yorkshire. It has also been suggested that this monument began life as the site known from documentary sources as Wheldrake Castle which was built between 1178 and 1185 and which had a licence for refortification revoked by the Crown in 1199 before works were completed. It is not certain whether this moated site and Wheldrake Castle occupy the same site and no identifiable remains of any monument predating the moated site remain visible. (Scheduling Report)

This moated site is suggested by Renn as a location for Wheldrake recorded as to be destroyed in 1149 and of being rebuilt in 1199.
On careful reflection Gatehouse does not think this was the site of the C12 'castles' and that these were, most likely, one site in Wheldrake. See the Wheldrake page for a full discussion and bibliography.) Whether this site constituted a 'fortified' house is a different debatable point but this is a large moated site of an important house.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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