Royal Observer Corps Viewing Platform - Barwick In Elmet, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 49.935 W 001° 23.757
30U E 605562 N 5966050
Quick Description: This observer platform was placed on top of the site of a Motte and Bailey Castle dating from the 11th or 12th Century.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/28/2021 9:43:56 AM
Waymark Code: WM141GW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ištván
Views: 0

Long Description:
A public footpath leads from a gate next to Barwick Methodist Church and a set of steps lead to the top. An information board has information about the site.
Hall Tower Earthworks

Note the location of the hillfort between the Vale of York in front of you and the Pennines beyond Leeds behind you.

This one of about 600 hastily made Norman castles ("Motte and Bailey" castles). Some date from the conquest in 1066 and others from the civil war between King Stephen and Quuien Matilda (1138-53). This one was built about then. Mottes had a wooden fortification on the top. Some were later made into strong castles built in Stone. There is no evidence here of Stone replacement but we know an undocumented excavation in Victorian times uncovered remnants of a stone structure.

You are on the castle mound (motte). To the west and the south is the Iron Age ditch and ramparts. After over a thousand year, the Iron Age hillfort's defences were used by the Normans to build a motte and bailey castle. The bailey (the outer castle yard) probably covered about a quarter of the hillfort. Surrounding the motte's own ditch it may have extended to the curved street to the north, 'The Boyle' possibly derived from Bailey.

The Norman landowner de Lacy also owned a vast area locally known as the 'Honour of Pontefract'. Barwick's castle was built to be the devolved northern centre for the Honour covering much of modern day Leeds. By the 14th Century the centre moved to Rothwell. The castle was abandoned and forgotten. People believed the remains were a Saxon palace.

In the Second World War the Motte became a viewing platform for the Royal Observer Corps. You are standing on the base of the two floor R.O.C. building from where enemy aircraft sightings could be reported.
A history website has the following information.

"The base is all that remains of the observation post in Barwick-in-Elmet. (The only surviving photographs of the building are those in which the building is not the main objective of the photograph).

The outline of the interior can be seen in the lines of brick in the base. Industrial bricks from Castleford were used to construct the post. The post was built on top of the Norman motte which is in the centre of the old part of the village. The motte, and its surrounding bailey and Iron Age Hillfort are a scheduled ancient monument. Under this designation the observer post is also part of the monument and protected from destruction.

The post is situated to the east of Leeds and has clear views of the sky in the east. Some two miles to the south west there was a Royal Ordnance Tank Factory at Barnbow." link
Related Website: [Web Link]

Admission Fee: None

Opening Days/Times:
Access is via a gate next to Barwick Methodist Church, all day, every day.


Supplementary Related Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Posting a picture(s) of the location would be nice although not required.
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