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-Saxon. Sadly, any trace of the castle and its surrounds have long since succumbed to the march of progress.

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.

Armley Castle

 Area of Giants Hill where Armley Castle may have stood

Return to the map Part 5 - Cockersdale to Armley and Wortley, click the blue button

Return to the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways home page, click the green button

West Leeds Country Park Part 5 - Cockersdale to Armley and Wortley