SOLD: Giant's Hill Wood £68,000 Freehold

  • Sutton-Upon-Derwent, near York, East Yorkshire
  • nearly 5 ½ acres
  • Northern England


The wood is reached via a good stone track and a ride-stop entrance is situated at the start of a wide grassy path, filled with wildflowers. This path crosses a drain; its banks are covered with bluebells, primroses and ferns.

This drain connects with the moat of ‘Giant’s Hill Motte’, a scheduled ancient monument, located about 25 meters away within the wood. More on this below, under 'Local History'. Today the Motte is covered in swathes of bluebells, ferns and coppiced hazel bushes, home to bumblebees and chiff-chaffs.

The path leading from the ride-stop (marked with orange tape for ease) follows the eastern banks of the motte and crosses an intersecting water-course with a sturdy footbridge. On the opposite bankside, herb paris plants grow. A also known as ‘true lover’s knot’, with its four oval leaves set in a cross and a small crown of flowers in the centre, this perennial plant is characteristic of ancient woodland, preferring damp chalky soils. The symmetry of the plant appealed to medieval herbalists and so it was often used in marriage rituals and to guard against witches.

A little further on, a large oak tree is reached and a rustic bench is located with an attractive view across the bluebells carpeting the motte. This is an ideal spot to rest awhile and soak in the tranquillity of your surroundings.

From the bench, the path leads on through young birch, now about 7 metres high. These trees were cut around ten years ago for horse jumps and now the birch is perfect for kindling, pioneering poles and dens: Giant’s Hill Wood may be ideal as a base for family fun or bush-crafters. It’s clear from the mossy stumps and lichen encrusted roots that not so long ago, more mature oak and pine trees grew here and the route passes two much older oak trees.

The path soon reaches a glade that borders the drain. Heading straight onwards to the old hedgeline and the edge of the wood, here there is a raised earth bund, with characterful oaks, aspen, thorn and yews growing along the bank and it’s clearly a popular route for resident wildlife too, their tracks and signs visible through the bluebells and bushes. The large trees at the field edge suit birds of prey such as buzzards and owls that like to hunt along the field margins, if you’re lucky, you may find an owl pellet below one such perch.

To complete the circular return route, a footbridge crosses the drain at the eastern end of the glade and follows a deer trail (now marked with pink tape) all the way back to the starting point at the side of the ancient motte.

The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant to ensure the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of adjoining woodlands and meadows.


There are mixed, native, broadleaved trees throughout the wood.

Around the motte, there is coppiced hazel, and more mature oak, birch, ash and willow.

Within the main body of the wood there is lots of birch with a couple of standard oak trees. There is also willow along the watercourse.


The wood is filled with birdsong in the spring and early summer with warblers, chiff-chaffs, wrens and blackbirds filling the copse with their territorial songs. Mammals are about too, their tracks and signs are present on mounds of bare earth and well walked trails through the wood.


  • A moated landform, which is a scheduled ancient monument.
  • Watercourses
  • A bench
  • Glades and clearings
  • Old hedgeline at boundary with field
  • Characterful standard oak trees

Access, tracks and footpaths

A good stone track leads to the wood entrance. Within the wood, there is a circular path which passes many of the lovely features that can be found here.

Rights and covenants

The wood is sold with the sporting rights.

A permissive path runs along the main stone track that leads to the wood. There are no rights of way within the wood.


A great wood for nature lovers, there is lots of scope to diversify and enhance habitats within the wood, perhaps create a bird hide or install a trail camera?

There is also an abundance of pioneering poles for campers and den builders.

Local area and history

It is thought that Giant's Hill Motte, a curious mound and moat structure may have been a fortified forester’s homestead or used to defend the river crossing, though there is little documented of its history. The Percy family who owned St Lois Farm, just to the north (and also moated), were influential in 12th century politics of England, so possibly they, or one of their tenant knights, were stamping their authority on control of the river, perhaps moving from the motte in the wood to the structure at St Lois. You can look up the listing here.

The nearby River Derwent has been a very important trading route throughout history, right up until rail and road freight came to dominance.

Wood maps

Wood map


The boundaries of Giant's Hill Wood are marked with mauve paint. There are on post tops along the northern and southern boundary and on trees on the eastern field boundary and western track edge.

Find this wood

This wood is now sold, please do not visit the wood without the permission of the owner.


  • OS Landranger: OS No. 36
  • Grid ref: SE 710 486
  • Nearest post code: YO41 4BY
  • GPS coordinates: 53.929, -0.919024

Location map


Just 12 miles from York, 33 miles from Hull and 35 miles from Leeds.

For Directions From Bing Maps click here, enter your own postcode, (entrance coordinates are already entered) and click on the blue "Get Directions" box. This will take you to the entrance.

  • Locate the A1076 York to Hull road and at Wilberfoss take the Sutton on Derwent turn to the south
  • Continue south past Newton upon Derwent
  • Approximately half a kilometer or a third of a mile after passing Newton Upon Derwent and when Grange Farm Kennels and cattery are reached turn right on to the farm track which gives access to the Wood.
  • Enter the padlock combination code and proceed for 1 kilometer or two thirds of a mile to the woodland entrance. The woodland can be seen from the main road at the combination padlock gate.

Note: Please contact Liz Watson on 07985 548481 before visiting, for the combination code to the gate, as there is no space to park by the main road.

  • Park between the two entrance gates, please try to leave space for other vehicles to pass.
  • Proceed on foot for approximately 500 metres following the permissive footpath to the north (rightwards)
  • Giant's Hill Wood is situated on the right, with mauve markings.

How we support our buyers

Membership of the small woodland owners’ group

£300 for a woodland course of your choice

Free copies of two woodland books

One year's free membership of the royal forestry society

Please note this wood is owned by woodlands.co.uk.

Our regional managers are often out working in our woodlands, so if you email an offer and want to be sure it has been received, please phone our manager on their mobile phone. The first offer at the stated price which is accepted, whether by phone or email, has priority.

Please take care when viewing as the great outdoors can contain unexpected hazards and woodlands are no exception. You should exercise common sense and caution, such as wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding visiting during high winds.

These particulars are for guidance only and, though believed to be correct, do not form part of any contract. Woodland Investment Management Ltd hereby give notice under section 21 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 of their interest in the land being sold.

A fascinating deciduous wood, steeped in history, containing a scheduled ancient monument, Giant’s Hill Motte and ancient woodland plants.

Managed by Liz Watson

Telephone: 07985 548481

Email: liz@woodlands.co.uk