Although Armley Prison is often mistaken for a castle, it is thought that a castle once stood in Armley, and occupied an area by the River Aire just below Armley. The historian Ralph Thorsby viewed the spot in the early eighteenth century, and speculated that the moated mound, known locally as Giant’s Hill, may have been a Viking fortification. In 1889 an archaeological survey of the site was carried out by G.W. Clark, and the findings published as an article for the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. Clark considered the mound, which he measured to have a circumference of 100 metres, to be Anglo-
It must be stressed that in a more recent article (The Museum of Leeds Trail) the proposed castle was probably a norman motte and bailey. The structure was 100 feet in diameter with ramparts 20 feet high. Furthermore the structure was largely destroyed when the canal was cut through the site in the 1770's.
Area of Giants Hill where Armley Castle may have stood
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