The War Memorial
The memorial commemorates the war heroes who gave their lives in different wars throughout time to help protect the country.
J.W. Harper (Victoria Cross)
Peel Hill Motte
The Historical significance of Thorne’s Peel Hill Motte
Peel Hill Motte and surrounding land was purchased in 1979 from the proceeds of Thorne Town Lottery after decades of unsuccessful attempts to acquire it for the benefit of the public. The Motte is a listed National Monument (Ref. S.A.M. 268) Classification: A1.ii, Ordnance Survey Grid Reference SE690133. The Motte was probably originally attached to a Bailey.
A Motte and Bailey was a type of early castle introduced by the Normans after 1066 and is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. A motte is a mound of earth and a bailey is a ward or enclosure. The motte was usually on the edge of the bailey to enable the defenders to escape in an emergency. Wooden palisades or stockades often crowned the top of the bank around the bailey and again around the edge of the flat top of the motte. The bailey was big enough to contain wooden buildings to house the garrison and the cattle which would be driven in to feed them during a siege.
The Lord’s house, a tower-like structure of wood, was built on top of the motte and was connected with the bailey by a wooden bridge or gently sloping ladder across a ditch. Another wooden bridge crossed the outer ditch which circles the whole site to open country.
The Peel Hill Motte was reference in the following books: History and Antiquities of Thorne, W.Cass on (1829) The Doncaster District, J. Magilton (1977) pp 71-3. Victoria County History of Yorkshire (VCH) Vol 2 (1912) p.23.
PEEL HILL CASTLE
Casson refers to the Peel Hill site being owned by a John Benson Esq.. Who in the first quarter of the 19th Century “bared the foundations of the castle.” The foundations on the motte top were partly destroyed by Wm Snow the owner of the site at the time Casson wrote(1829).
The Mott’s circular 22ft (7m) high, 55ft (16.8m) in diameter the top (V.C.H.), 50m north of the parish church parts of which are of the 12th Century. Small fragments of rubble wall core survive buried beneath earth at the summit. The motte ditch survives but is pertly filled in on the south. North of the motte, and across the road to the east, are depressions which are probably old sand and gravel quarries.
The local manor belonged to the Warennes of Conisborough in the 12th Century who erected the Church. The VCH suggests that the castle served as a hunting lodge in Hatfield Chase.
The form of the stone tower on the motte seems to have been unusual. Casson wrote that the top of them was found to be from four to five feet thick and composed of rounded stones and cement and it appears to have had three large buttresses or outworks pointing north-east, west and south-east.”
The tower remained standing into the 16th Century at least. Leyland wrote in 1534 “by the church garth of Thorne is a praty pile or castelet, well diked, now used for a prison for offenders in the forestes”… Early 17th Century documentary references suggest that important medieval buildings stood south of the motte. Casson (pp 27-28) quotes reference to the “Hill Garth” (evidently to the west of the church), the “Kings Chamber” and the “Chamber over the outward gate”.
The “Gate House” evidently stood in Stonegate not far from the Church.
The presence of an important group of buildings with a specific gate house in this situation would add weight that Peel Hill motte may have had a bailey to the south.
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