west derby castle

This is a text only version of the interactive west derby castle page

After 1066, King William asked his Norman Barons (rich knights) to control England for him. One of these Barons was Roger de Poitou who was given Liverpool and Manchester to look after. In 1100 Roger de Poitou built a Motte and Bailey Castle in West Derby for his knights to live in.

west derby castle was made of two parts. The Motte was a raised hill (earthwork) with a wooden fort at the top. The highup Motte fort would have given Roger’s knights a great view of the surrounding area. The ‘Bailey’ was the lower part. A courtyard where peasants and animals would be kept.

west derby castle
How west derby castle would have looked and the place names that exist in west derby today to remind us of where it was.

west derby castle was surrounded by a water Moat with a drawbridge connecting the castle to the surrounding land. Being wooden, these castles were quick to build, especially in West Derby, which had a huge forest (a great source of wood). Documents from 1213 show 140 soliders, 10 knights and 10 crossbow men lived at the castle.

A west derby castle ‘shopping list’ from 1213 shows the knights spent £30 on wheat and oats, meat, salt and £170 on castle repairs. After the founding of the town of ‘Liverpool’ in 1207 people started to move from West Derby towards what is now the city centre. west derby castle was abandoned by 1297 and was reported to be in ruins by 1327. The earthwork mound was at the site was leveled in 1817.

Today names like Castleview Road, Castlesite Road, The Armoury and Castle Keep – are all reminders of where west derby castle used to be.


west derby castle. Roger de Poitou. Motte and Bailey Castle. West Derby. liverpool history. norman conquests. liverpool history. Liverpool History Schools. KS3. KS4. Key Stage Three. Key stage Four. teaching resources. history of liverpool