Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Berry ringwork

A Scheduled Monument in Rothersthorpe, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.2042 / 52°12'15"N

Longitude: -0.9547 / 0°57'16"W

OS Eastings: 471532.729234

OS Northings: 256732.525048

OS Grid: SP715567

Mapcode National: GBR BWK.ZBC

Mapcode Global: VHDS4.DVNN

Entry Name: The Berry ringwork

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 31 March 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010253

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13661

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Rothersthorpe

Built-Up Area: Rothersthorpe

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Rothersthorpe St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The Berry is the site of a ringwork which stood at the centre of the medieval
village of Rothersthorpe. The site is an irregularly shaped enclosure
measuring approximately 120m from east to west and about 90m from north to
south. The ringwork is delineated on the north and west sides by a wide ditch
between 2.5m and 4m deep. There are also remains of an inner rampart in the
north east corner and at the southern end of the site. Undulating features in
the west of the interior of the ringwork indicate the locations of former
buildings. On the eastern side of the interior remains of ridge and furrow
ploughing can be seen.
The Memorial Hall building is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground
below it is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

The Berry is one of seven surviving medieval ringworks in Northamptonshire.
It has a long history of occupation and is in an essentially undisturbed

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological sites of Northamptonshire, Volume III130-1
SMR indicates long history to site, Northants Arch Unit, SMR Records, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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