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Hornby Castlestede

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Stede; Castleton; Orneby

In the civil parish of Hornby With Farleton.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Lancashire.
1974 county of Lancashire.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD58336975
Latitude 54.12191° Longitude -2.63980°

Hornby Castlestede has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The monument at Castle Stede is of particular importance as one of a group of early post-Conquest (late 11th century) mottes established along the Lune Valley. These sites were all of strategic importance, allowing control of movement along the river valley. More important, however, was their role in imposing and demonstrating the new post-Conquest feudal order on the area. It is the best example of a motte and bailey castle in Lancashire. Its earthworks survive well and the lack of subsequent occupation on the site means that buried structural remains and environmental evidence is likely to survive well. The positioning of a pill box on the site emphasises the continued strategic importance of the site in the early 20th century.
Castle Stede consists of a motte and bailey castle situated at the NW extremity of a ridge of high ground projecting to the banks of the River Lune overlooking Loyn Bridge. The monument comprises a conical motte surrounded by a ditch on three sides. To the W is an oval-shaped bailey defended by a rampart and ditch on its S side. To the N and NW a steep slope down to the river affords protection. A modern causeway, on the site of the original, gives access into the bailey, while a mound and a cutting on the W side of the motte indicates the site of access from the bailey. During World War II a pill box, which is also included in the scheduling, was constructed on the outer edge of the bailey ditch on the south side of the monument. (Scheduling Report)

Castle Stede is a motte and bailey castle covering an area of 2 1/4 acres, situated on a promontary overlooking the River Lune. It has an oval-shaped bailey, protected on the north and west sides by steep slopes, and on the south side by a rampart and ditch. On this side the gateway entrance appears to have been greatly defaced by modern agriculture. The circular and conical motte is surrounded by a ditch, except for a few yards on the north side where the natural slope takes it place. Excavations were carried out on the centre of the motte by Dr Lingard (19th century historian) but with negative results; ? Plans. Renn, giving documentary evidence stated that "This (rather than the later castle) is probably that seized from Roger de Montbegon III by John in 1205 but returned three months later...; probably also the Orneby of 1200". The bailey associated with the motte at Castlestede may have originally been an Iron Age Fort according to Forde-Johnston. Well defined motte and bailey on OS air photographs (Curwen; Renn; Forde-Johnston; OS APs). (PastScape)

See also Castle Hornby the successor site. Some of the C13 history may be confabulated between the two sites as the construction date of Castle Hornby is not securely known. The suggestion that this may have originated as an Iron Age site appears weak to Gatehouse.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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