Arkholme motte and bailey

Arkholme motte and bailey castle

Arkholme motte and bailey

Where is it – England, North West England

Who looks after it –  Church authorities 

What is it –  Castle or Fort, Free access 

When is it from – Norman

Arkholme – Erghum or Ergune at the time of Domesday – was another manor or settlement once owned by Tostig, brother of King Harold, before the conquest. The motte – one of several in the Lune Valley – is located right next to the little parish church of St John the Baptist.  At first glance, it could be anything, but closer inspection reveals the classic motte shape. According to Historic England, excavation revealed a lengthy period of occupation and evidence of two periods of construction. Sadly, no suggested dates are given. The bailey lies beneath the church and churchyard and there is no visible trace of it.

The motte (and the church) are located right at the bottom of Arkholme’s Main Street, leading off the B6254 which is a cul de sac ending at the river. It is a peaceful spot and a nice stroll, past pleasant, leafy and attractive properties. ‘Tis said there used to be a ferry crossing at this stretch of the Lune and that Arkholme’s motte and bailey castle was built to guard it. There is even a Ferryman’s Cottage today – so it must be right. Interestingly, the motte and bailey castle at Melling is almost directly opposite, giving the impression of a double guard over a valuable river crossing. The path of the Lune has changed over time; it once flowed closer to Melling than it is now.

The other motte and bailey castles of the Lune are: Halton, Castle Stede, Melling, Whittington, Kirkby Lonsdale and, possibly, Burton in Lonsdale.



Main Street, Arkholme, Nr Carnforth, Lancashire LA6 1AY 

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