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Swine Giants Hill

In the civil parish of Swine.
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: TA13123583
Latitude 53.80647° Longitude -0.28368°

Swine Giants Hill has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Giant Hill is 3.5m high, 60m long, east-west, and 32m wide. Although tradition suggests it is a prehistoric burial mound, excavations in 1919 and 1960 proved that it was constructed between 1350 and 1450. Its exact function remains uncertain though it may be a lookout for a deer park which is known to have lain to the south of the nunnery. (Scheduling Report as part of the Swine Nunnery)

A large flat-topped ditchless mound 3.6m high, with an earthen ramp forming an integral part of its eastern side. Excavations in 1960-61 by Varley uncovered a series of stakeholes on the perimeter of the mound, arranged in two concentric rings, 40ft and 46ft diameter. Their function was uncertain but probably structural, since they were removed before the completion of the upper part of the mound, the material for which was obtained in part fom the pond on its S.E. side. A central depression contained the debris of a building with a maximum width of 7ft. Pottery ranged from C13 to C15. The function of the mound is uncertain. Varley suggested it formed a look-out post but its position on low ground makes this unlikely. The O.S. classified it as a windmill or dovecot mount. (East Riding of Yorkshire SMR)

In the late 13th century deer were taken from Robert of Hilton's park at Swine. The park, which had evidently been disparked by the mid 15th century, may have lain south and west of the church around Giant hill, an artificial mound thought to date from the 14th or 15th century and possibly made as a look-out for hunting and fowling; in 1618 the mound stood in a large close called the Pighill and Appleyard which adjoined Park close. (VCH)

Called a motte in one entry in the East Riding of Yorkshire SMR but no one else seems to call this ditchless medieval mound a motte.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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