Halton motte and bailey

Halton motte and bailey

Halton motte and bailey

Where is it – England, North West England

Who looks after it –  Unknown 

What is it –  Castle or Fort 

When is it from – Norman

The remains of Halton’s motte and bailey castle can easily be seen on a small hill at the junction of Foundry Lane and Church Brow.  The motte and surrounding lines of the bailey are clear, there is a flagpole on top and, apparently, the remains of a WWII lookout post.  It is possible to look at the site from the road, but there doesn’t seem to be any public access.  (In 2024 there was a proposed community project to find out more about Halton’s Castle Hill and facilitate access to it.)

Halton is one of several motte and bailey sites along the Lune Valley (Castle Stede at Hornby, Melling, Arkholme, Whittington, Kirkby Lonsdale and, possibly, Burton in Lonsdale).  As with other Lune Valley fortifications, there is an absence of history.  However, Halton – Haltune at the time of Domesday – was owned by King Harold’s brother Tostig before the conquest and various online sources suggest it was an important place, possinly a centre of administration – albeit the Domesday entry suggests it had no value in 1066.  A leaflet in the church says that the castle – along with others – was pre-conquest (unlikely?) and the fact that it does not have a church in the bailey suggests the church is older.  Certainly, it is claimed that Halton has had a church since the 7th century.  There are further suggestions that the motte and bailey at Halton was constructed by Roger de Poitou, possible builder of Lancaster Castle, but that the latter proved to be a better site.   It is not clear when the castle fell from use.  The chief foresters of Lancaster, the Gernet family, had their principal manor in Halton until about 1290, when the inheritance passed to the Dacre family, whose manor house was burnt down in 1322 by the Scots.

Do not miss the nearby church of St Wilfred and the Halton Cross.



Foundry Ln, Halton, Lancashire LA2 6LS 

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