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Mowbray Castle, Kirkby Malzeard

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Malesart; Malessart; Malzead; Malesharth; Malessard

In the civil parish of Kirkby Malzeard.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE23737456
Latitude 54.16630° Longitude -1.63802°

Mowbray Castle, Kirkby Malzeard has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Except for minor disturbance of the motte in the 19th century during antiquarian investigations, the motte and bailey at Kirkby Malzeard castle are well preserved; the below ground remains of medieval structures will survive on the motte and within the bailey while the buried landsurface beneath the motte will retain environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the castle was constructed. The castle retains important information about the form and structure and provides a valuable contribution to the study of medieval fortifications and their subsequent function in the landscape. The monument includes a motte and bailey castle situated on the north edge of a spur, at the foot of which flows the Kex Beck. The area of the motte is heavily wooded and the bailey is under pasture. The northern end of the spur has been scarped to form a large but low motte, with a platform some 25m in diameter. The motte falls away sharply to the west, whilst to the south and east it slopes gently to the bailey. The bailey has a well defined rampart on the north west, and traces of rampart and ditch on the west and south sides. The exact line of its eastern defences is uncertain. The north of the monument is defined by the edge of Kex Beck which has at some time been revetted. The bailey measures 110m across. There is no stone fabric visible although excavations have revealed the existence of stone defences and evidence suggesting the presence of domestic buildings on the motte. The surrounding woodland was landscaped in post medieval times and the motte had a series of terraces and steps built onto it in the 19th century, of which little trace can now be seen. A road runs along the base of the motte to the south east, separating the motte from the bailey. The monument is first mentioned in 1131 and was one of the three Mowbray castles slighted after the insurrection of 1173-74. It was destroyed in 1176 on the order of Henry II, and does not appear to have been re-occupied since. It came into the hands of the Aislbie family in the 18th century and the surrounding woodland was landscaped to create rides and vistas. (Scheduling Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:49

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