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MONUMENT NO. 54923

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A Medieval motte and bailey situated on the west bank of the River Wharfe, to the north of Tadcaster town centre. The northern side slopes steeply down to an outer moat, now infilled, whilst outworks to the east of the motte have been reduced by embanking of the river and are no longer visible as earthworks. The southern part of the bailey has been built over, although its extent can be extrapolated from street patterns. The motte is an earth and stone mound 7m high and 25m diameter with a small inner bailey 20m across on the west side, divided from the outer bailey further to the west by a ditch 20m wide and 2m deep. A low bank 1m high extends along the northern perimeter of the bailey, with a small mound standing 4m high at the north west corner. This mound is believed to be the remains of a gun emplacement dating from the re-fortification of the castle during the Civil War. The castle is early Norman in date, its founding attributed to William de Percy in the late 11th century. It is thought that the castle is built upon, and partly incorporates, the pre-Norman defences which occupied the north east corner of Tadcaster. The castle became neglected from the 12th century when the Percy family ceased to have a dwelling in Tadcaster. At the begining of the Civil War in 1642, the Parliamentarian, Thomas Fairfax refortified the castle site with bastions and cannon placements. The new defences withstood several Royalist assaults before Tadcaster was taken in 1643. Scheduled.

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