Ancient Monuments

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Ringwork and baileys at Church Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Stockbury, Kent

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Latitude: 51.3237 / 51°19'25"N

Longitude: 0.6483 / 0°38'54"E

OS Eastings: 584623.698929

OS Northings: 161621.865264

OS Grid: TQ846616

Mapcode National: GBR QRY.W64

Mapcode Global: VHJM3.6Z3M

Entry Name: Ringwork and baileys at Church Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 December 1951

Last Amended: 19 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009949

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25482

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Stockbury

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes the earthworks and interior of a Norman ringwork, along
with its two baileys or outer wards, situated on a chalk hill which forms part
of the Kent Downs. The ringwork itself lies to the north west and is a roughly
circular, raised, level area c.56m in diameter, which originally contained the
main, residential buildings. These are no longer visible as standing features,
but will survive as buried foundations beneath the modern farm buildings and
the ground which surrounds them. The ringwork is enclosed by a dry, v-shaped
ditch c.10m wide and around 2m deep, surviving as an earthwork to the south
west and south east, with a causeway allowing access to the interior on its
south eastern side. The profile of the ditch has become partially distorted by
a small, modern quarry on its south western side and by modern rubbish
dumping. To the south east of the ringwork is a semicircular, inner bailey in
which the ancillary buildings, such as stables, workshops and soldiers'
accommodation, would have been sited. This level area is defined by a bank
0.5m high and 0.4m wide, bounded by a dry ditch up to 14m wide and around 3m
deep, although it has become partially infilled in places over the years. To
the south east is a larger, outer bailey enclosed by a slightly curving ditch
c.3m wide and 1m deep. This has been partially disturbed at its south western
end by a small, modern chalk quarry. The ditch has a slight, inner bank c.0.2m
The modern farmhouse, its associated outbuildings, those farm buildings
situated within the protected area, and all modern walls and fences which
cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Ringworks are medieval fortifications built and occupied from the late
Anglo-Saxon period to the later 12th century. They comprised a small defended
area containing buildings which was surrounded or partly surrounded by a
substantial ditch and a bank surmounted by a timber palisade or, rarely, a
stone wall. Occasionally a more lightly defended embanked enclosure, the
bailey, adjoined the ringwork. Ringworks acted as strongholds for military
operations and in some cases as defended aristocratic or manorial settlements.
They are rare nationally with only 200 recorded examples and less than 60
with baileys. As such, and as one of a limited number and very restricted
range of Anglo-Saxon and Norman fortifications, ringworks are of particular
significance to our understanding of the period.

Despite some damage caused by the construction of modern buildings and
structures, by subsequent quarrying and dumping, and by tree roots, the
ringwork and baileys at Stockbury survive as visually impressive earthworks
and in buried form, and will contain archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed and used.

Source: Historic England

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