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Sigston Castle



The only remains of Sigston Castle are its moated enclosure and a central mound, all built at the southern end of a hill sitting between the western edge of the Moors and Northallerton.

The moated enclosure has an area of two acres, and is trapezoid in shape - the northern half forms two sides of a square, but the southern tip extends further to the south. The entire enclosure sits at the base of a hill than runs north past Winton and on to West Harsley, where there are the remains of another minor castle, Harlsey Castle. The ditch survives around most of the enclosure. The only other feature is a central mound 100ft square and 6ft high, which probably marks the site of the main buildings of the castle.

The Sigston family can be traced in Sigston manor for some time before the castle was built. Michael de Ryhill held part of the manor in 1284-5. By 1313 the land was held by John son of John son of Michael, described as lord of Sigston and probably de Ryhill's grandson.

This John de Sigston married Joan, daughter of Henry de Maunsell of Winton. They had a son, another John, and he was tenant of the manor in 1327.

The marriage between John and Joan gave the Sigston's their first foothold in the manor of Winton, just to the north of Kirby Sigston. Over the next few years they gained control of the rest of the manor. Although Sigston Castle is much closer to the modern village of Kirby Sigston than to Winton, which is one mile to the north, it would appear to have been built on land that was part of Winton, for when the estates were split in later years it accompanied that manor.

John de Sigston was granted a licence to crenellate his 'manor of Beresende' on 10 February 1336. The castle was also refered to as Berford and Sigston in various documents.

He didn't survive long to live in his new castle. John son of John, lord of Sigston, died in 1348 without any children. His estates were inherited by his sister, who had married into the Place family. They held the land for five generations, after which it eventually reached the Pigot family. In 1503 Ralph Pigot died without any children, and his estates were split. The decline of the castle probably began at about this time, when none of his heirs inherited enough of the surrounding manors to make it worth their moving to Sigston.


Grid Reference: SE 416 951

On private land, but the southern tip of the castle touches the road just to the east of Kirby Sigston, and public rights of way run along the western and northern sides of the earth works.