Topcliffe Castle

Topcliffe Castle (also known as Maiden's Bower) is an abandoned castle located near the village of Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, England.[1]

Topcliffe Castle
Topcliffe, North Yorkshire in England
Topcliffe Motte, Maiden Bower. - - 316741.jpg
Motte of Topcliffe Castle in 1997
Coordinates54°10′10″N 1°22′24″W / 54.1695°N 1.3732°W / 54.1695; -1.3732
Site information
Open to
the public
No (private land)
Site history

The castle was built at the junction of the River Swale and Cod Beck.[2] A motte and bailey castle was constructed around 1071. Archbishop Geoffrey of York re-fortified the castle in 1173 during the revolt of 1173-74, with William de Stuteville appointed as governor.[3]

Plan of Topcliffe Castle.

The Percy family held Topcliffe.[4] Edward III of England spent a few hours resting at the castle in August 1333.[5] The castle appears to have been abandoned during the 14th century. In 1489, on the site of the castle, Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland was slain by an angry mob in regard to higher taxation.[1]


  1. ^ a b Pettifer, Adrian (2000). English castles : a guide by counties. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. p. 300. ISBN 0851157823.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Maiden Bower and Cock Lodge: a motte and bailey castle, moated site, windmill mound and associated linear outwork (1011612)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  3. ^ Thomas, Hugh (23 September 2004). "Stuteville, William de". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26754. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ MacKenzie, James Dixon (1896). The castles of England : their story and structure Volume 2. London: Heinemann. p. 271. OCLC 504892038.
  5. ^ "Parishes: Topcliffe British History Online". Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  • Levitt, Paul C. Yorkshire's Secret Castles: A Concise Guide & Companion. Grub Street Publishers, 2017. ISBN 9781526706225
  • Salter, M. The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire. Folly Publications, 2001.