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Hood Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
La Hode; Hod

In the civil parish of Kilburn High And Low.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE50388141
Latitude 54.22594° Longitude -1.22873°

Hood Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Motte and bailey castle occupying a commanding position on the crest of a very prominent ridge, about 800m west of the main range of the Hambleton Hills. As the ridge itself is very steep and not easily accessible, the formation of the stronghold required only slight modification of the summit. A 10m wide ditch is cut into the slope on the west side, about 10m below the crest and approximately level with the 250m contour, with the resultant spoil deposited downslope to form a 2m high outer bank. The top of the hill has been flattened off to give a relatively level platform measuring up to 40m north-south by 20m east-west and there is a slightly lower platform to the north but this is less clearly defined. Although some subsidence has occurred, mainly on the east-facing slopes, there is no evidence that this has damaged any structures in the castle. This fortress has been identified as the site of Hood Castle which was constructed by Robert de Stuteville (1086-1106) and passed to Henry I after de Stuteville's downfall. A license to crenellate with a ditch and stone wall was granted in 1264 and the castle is last mentioned in 1322. (Scheduling Report)

Small circular enclosure, adapted to the contours of the isolated summit of Hood Hill, approximating to a motte and bailey. It may be the site of Hood Castle. Licence to crenellate was granted in 1264 to John de Eyvill, with provision for a dyke and wall of stone, but the castle may have been constructed originally by Robert de Stuteville (1086-1106) at whose attainder it passed to Henry I. The castle is last mentioned in 1322. (PastScape)

The documentary references clearly referred to a castle at or near Hood it has never been located. The earthworks on Hood Hill seem an unlikely site though it has on occasions been described as a motte and bailey. (North Yorkshire HER)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1264 Aug 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


Hood was said in 1218 to have been 'built in Newburgh fee after the war began between King John and his barons of England'. North Yorkshire HER record suggests this an unlikely site for the castle and the location, on an isolated hill top, is unusual for a castle and would be exceptional for a crenellated house, unless intended purely as a hunting lodge. An alternative site could be Hood Grange 100m to the North, however the earthwork survey of Hood Hill is clearly that of a timber castle and later house and there is little real doubt this is the location of the C13 castle. The licence was to John de Eyvill leader of the 'disinherited', part of Simon de Montfort forces. This licence was granted shortly after Henry III had been defeated at the Battle of Lewes. The peace of Canterbury, forced on Henry, was signed August 12 and this licence may be part of these provisions and it may be that this was granted purely to recognise Eyvill's lordly status and that there was little serious intent to build.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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