The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Killerby Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kilwardby; Kilwardeby; Killarby

In the civil parish of Killerby.
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: SE258960
Latitude 54.35901° Longitude -1.60333°

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

There are no visible remains.


At Killerby, west of Appleton, may still be traced the foundations of the castle built in a strong position by Brian Fitz Alan, lord of Bedale. (VCH)

Soon after the Conquest, Killerby was granted by the Earl of Richmond to Schollandus of Bedale, his Sewer. His granddaughter Agnes carried it in marriage to Brian Fitz-Alan, one of whose descendants, in the 19th of Edward I. (1291), had a license to make a Castle at his Manor of Kilwardeby. Leland says that "the Lord Lovell had a Castelle at Killerby, within a quarter of a mile of the ripe citerioris of Swale, a myle benethe Katerik Bridge: there appeare," he continues, "greate ruines." And in another place the "royal antiquary" observes, " Mastar Metcalfe hierithe the lordshipe of the Kinge. Some say that ther cam water by couductus into the topps of some of the towers."
From the situation of this Castle it might have bidden defiance to any force that could have been brought against it. Being entirely insulated by water to a very considerable distance, and in a flat country, it would be approached by a very narrow causeway. Killerby Carr extended as low down as Kirkby Fleetham, and was filled with bulrushes and aquatic trees. Though thus situated it stood on a fine sloping bank of 20 or 30 acres, that gradually rose from the edge of the water. From the foundations which have been discovered, the Castle must have been of great magnitude. At what time it fell into ruin is not known. In the Church of Bedale is a monumental effigy of Sir Brian Fitz-Alan, Earl of Arundell, the founder of the Castles of Bedale and Killerby.
The present mansion, Killerby Hall, the seat of John B. Booth, Ear, occupies the site of the Castle. It is a substantial square building, situated on a gentle slope, and in well-wooded and well-watered grounds. (Whellan 1859)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1291 Sept 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


Said to be the site of an earlier motte and bailey but the evidence for this seems slight and may be a confabulation with the nearby motte and bailey of Killerby Castle Hills. The PastScape record suggests there is some question as to the location of the licenced house although there can be little real doubt that it was on, or very near to, the site occupied by Killerby Hall. The form of house, whilst not absolutely known, certainly seems to have included several towers and to have been moated.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact