Hill fort (St John’s mound), Włoszczowa
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Hill fort (St John’s mound)



A typical motte - the relics of a residential and defensive seat of a noble family with a bridge leading into the complex being the only such an architectural solution recognized in Poland so far.

Location and description

Włoszczowa is located in the east part of the Włoszczowska Basin, in Przedborska Upland. The motte is approximately 2 km north-east of the city, among the meadows. The circular, dome-shaped mound of the diameter of approximately 40 is approximately 5 m high. On top of the area there is a plateau, with a recessed north part, perhaps reminding of a former basements. We do not know the appearance of the main edifice, which was probably wooden. The slopes of the mound, which was entirely artificial, are steep, inclined at an angle of about 45°. The traces of a more-than-10-metres-wide moat are visible. On the outer side, there was a rampart, approximately 20 m wide and 4-5 m high, which surrounded the settlement. The motte had a bridge of about 2.5 m in width.


The beginnings of medieval settlement in Włoszczowa go back to the village of Włoszczówka, now within the city boundaries. In 1389 Władysław Jagiełło granted the village to Crown Marshal Dymitr of Goraj of the Korczak coat of arms. Włoszczowa was probably the only collateral for his family debts as he sold it already in 1398 to the later castellan of Dobrzyń and starost of Podolya, Piotr Karwacjan of Radomin of the Pierzchała coat of arms, recorded as the owner of Włoszczowa in 1403. By the king’s grant in favour of Piotr, the village became the property of the House of Pierzchała and remained in their hands until at least the first half of the 15th century when it was sold to the Szafraniec family. A document dated 1450 mentions Stanislaum de Wloschsczowa, perhaps Stanisław of Młodziejowice, the grandson of Piotr of Łuczyce, the progenitor of one of the finest families of the time. It is possible though that the village was purchased by Piotr Szafraniec, castellan of Sącz and starost of Sandomierz, the sixth descendant of Piotr of Łuczyce of the same name. In 1539 the starost of Chęciny, Hieronim Szafraniec of Pieskowa Skała, transformed the village, pursuant to a document issued by King Sigismund the Old, into a town under Magdeburg Law. In 1548 the town went into the hands of Mikołaj Kreza of Bobolice, of the Ostoja coat of arms, who married Hieronim’s daughter Anna Szafrańcówna. Later the town was owned by the families of Strasz, Otwinowski, Małachowski, Komorowski and Niemojewski. The beginning of the motte on the mound of St John Włodzimierz Pyzik dated to the mid-14th century when the village was still a royal property. If this was the case, the property would have been a stronghold owned by the prince (or king). Stanisław Kołodziejski is of the opinion that the motte was founded at the turn of the 14th century as a residential and defensive family seat, perhaps erected earlier by Piotr of Radomin of the Pierzchała coat of arms. The site lost its importance at the end of the 15th century or at beginning of the 16th century when the Szafraniec family built a new residence in Podzamcze Włoszczowskie. Most probably, in the 2nd half of the 18th century, the statue of St John of Nepomuk was placed on the top of the mound. During the Second World War the German troops used part of the mound as a fortified observation point.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In 1973 the mound was examined by Włodzimierz Pyzik. During the excavations, multiple pieces were found of tiles, vessels, iron and bronze items and a fragment of bone lining. In the years 2009-2013, the research was resumed by Czesław Hadamik. The rampart surrounding the mound was examined from outside and the remains of the bridge were discovered.

The historical material collected in the research and the accompanying documentation are kept in the Museum of Archeology in Kielce.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 16.12.2014.


  • Ameryk P., Zabytki Włoszczowy, [w:] Z dziejów Włoszczowy i regionu włoszczowskiego., Kielce 1991, s. 234-239.
  • Hadamik Cz., Średniowieczne dwory obronne w powiecie włoszczowskim, Włoszczowa 2005, s. 31-37.
  • Kalina D., Dwór we Włoszczowie. Wstęp do problematyki badawczej., [w:] Dąbrowski G., Drążyk M., Marczewski M., Pacanowski R., Szczukocki A., Świetlicki C., Teper M. (red.) Na włoszczowskich drogach historii. Materiały z sesji naukowych odbytych w Gruszczynie, Ludyni, Olesznie, Włoszczowie poświęconych dziejom powiatu włoszczowskiego., Włoszczowa - Krasocin 2012, s. 105-120.
  • Kiryk F., Urbanizacja Małopolski. Województwo sandomierskie XIII-XVI w., Kielce 1994, s. 163-164.
  • Kołodziejski S., Uwagi do problematyki badawczej reliktów obronnej rezydencji możnowładczej we Włoszczowej, Kielce 1986, mps. w Archiwum WUOZ w Kielcach.
  • Pyzik Z.W., Włoszczowa, „Informator Archeologiczny, badania rok 1973”, Warszawa 1974, s. 275.
  • Pyzik Z. W., Grodzisko średniowieczne we Włoszczowie, „Rocznik Muzeum Narodowego w Kielcach” 1998, t. 19, s. 157-175.
  • Sperka J., Szafrańcowie herbu Stary Koń, Katowice 2001, s. 268.
  • Wiśniewski J., Historyczny opis kościołów, miast, zabytków i pamiątek w powiecie włoszczowskim, Marjówka 1932, s. 269-270.
  • www.naukawpolsce.pap.pl/aktualnosci/news,396546,przelomowe-odkrycie-archeologow-we-wloszczowie.html

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: XIV/XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Włoszczowa
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district włoszczowski, commune Włoszczowa - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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