Monument record MYO2802 - The Old Baile


A Motte and bailey built 1068-9 by William the Conqueror and rebuilt in 1069. Disused by 1322 at which time it was incorporated into the town defences.


Grid reference Centred SE 6019 5124 (236m by 207m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The Old Baile is a motte-and-bailey castle constructed by William I. The castle was built in 1068 or 1069 but, like York Castle on the other side of the Ouse, was destroyed in September 1069 and rebuilt by the king almost immediately. By the late 12th century it appears to have been in the posession of the archbishop of York. By 1466 the archbishop had granted the castle to the Mayor and Commonalty of the city. It was at that time that the castle was integrated into the circuit of defences around the city.

Originally it consisted of a circular mound, surrounded by a ditch, with a quadrangular yard of 3 acres on the south west side. Excavations have revealed the remains of 12th century buildings on the top of the Motte. The Motte survives to an average height of 7.7 metres and was raised in height in the Civil War.


SE 6026 5126] Baile Hill. [GT.] (1)

The Old Baile, a motte and bailey, was built by the Conquerer in 1068-9 and rebuilt in 1069. Originally it comprised a circular mound, surrounded by a ditch, with a quadrangular yard of 3 acres on the S.W. side, A scheduled ancient monument. (2-3)

Published survey (OS 1:1250,1962) revised. The well preserved motte has an average height of 7.7 m. There is now no visible evidence of a surrounding ditch or bailey. (4)

Listed by Cathcart King. From 1322 it was disused and integrated into the town defences. (5)

1 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 1:1250 1962.
2 A history of Yorkshire: the city of York 528 1961 (R.B. Pugh). edited by P M Tillott
3 Scheduled Monument Notification List. Anc. Mons. 1961, p.106, (M.O.W.)
4 Field Investigators Comments F1 RWE 06-JUN-63
5 Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands 529 Feb-83 David J Cathcart King

NMR, NMR data (Unassigned). SYO2214.

*Royal Archaeological Institute, 1977, Baile Hill, York (Article in Journal). SYO2336.

YAT, 2016, 18 Newton Terrace WB (Unpublished document). SYO1806.

York Archaeological Trust, 2017, 50 Kyme St (Unpublished document). SYO2059.

Sources/Archives (4)

  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 2016. 18 Newton Terrace WB.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeological Trust. 2017. 50 Kyme St.
  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.
  • --- Article in Journal: *Royal Archaeological Institute. 1977. Baile Hill, York. 134.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

Record last edited

Feb 5 2021 1:24PM


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