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Swine Castle Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bransholm; Brancholme; Bransholme; le Hermitage in Braunceholm

In the civil parish of Wawne.
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: TA12553435
Latitude 53.79330° Longitude -0.29287°

Swine Castle Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The monument is the remains of a medieval motte and comprises a steep-sided oval mound enclosed by an earthen bank, a dry moat and a counterscarp bank of up-cast earth. The mound is 150m in length NE-SW and up to 100m in breadth. At its highest point in the centre of the mound it is 5m high. It is immedately enclosed around its base by an earthen bank 0.5m high and 5m wide. The moat is up to 10m wide and 1m deep. The surrounding counterscarp bank is 1m high and 5m wide. The SW end of the monument has been truncated by the (now disused) railway line. In 1918 a trench was dug across the site by soldiers from a nearby training camp, supervised by Tom Shepherd, Curator of Hull Museum. This 110m long trench was orientated NW-SE and traversed the hill from its NE end. It survives as a silted feature 2m deep and 3m wide. The excavation recovered quantities of medieval pottery and the corner of a brick building which Shepherd considered to be of Elizabethan date. A hall is referred to at the site in a record of 1668 and the remains may be of the 'Mansion House' which gave the site its 18th-century name. The monument is thought to be the castle of Branceholme built by Sir John Saher before 1200. In 1353 John de Sutton was fined for crenellating a castle at the site. (EH Scheduling Report)

A royal pardon and licence to crenellate was granted in 1352 Feb 4 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


The earthworks, which are based on a glacial morraine, are much disturbed by gravel working. The house of John de Sutton was 'strengthened with tiles and mortar'. Tiles here may well mean clay bricks and the brick foundations found in 1918, and dated as Elizabethan, may benefit for a new assessment . (Hull and Beverley in Yorkshire became important brick towns with Municipal brickyards being established in Hull in 1303. Michael Hammett, 2008)
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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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