Ancient Monuments

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Clavering Castle: a ringwork with associated earthworks north of the church of St Mary and St Clement

A Scheduled Monument in Clavering, Essex

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Latitude: 51.9664 / 51°57'58"N

Longitude: 0.1388 / 0°8'19"E

OS Eastings: 547032.554031

OS Northings: 231926.491508

OS Grid: TL470319

Mapcode National: GBR LB6.RWZ

Mapcode Global: VHHL8.CT7Y

Entry Name: Clavering Castle: a ringwork with associated earthworks north of the church of St Mary and St Clement

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 24 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011779

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20676

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Clavering

Built-Up Area: Clavering

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Clavering St Mary and St Clement

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes Clavering Castle, a ringwork with associated earthworks,
situated 50m north of the church of St Mary and St Clement on the southern
bank of the River Stort. The ringwork survives as a rectangular enclosure
150m east-west by 100m north-south which is surrounded by a ditch 26m wide and
5m deep. The ditch remains partly waterfilled, particularly to the north and
west. The interior of the enclosure, which is at the same level as the
surrounding ground level, is undulating, indicating the presence of buried
structural remains. The original entrance to the enclosure crosses the ditch
at the south-eastern corner at the location of a more recent trackway.
Immediately north of the northern enclosure ditch is a retaining bank 10m wide
and c.2m high, associated with a series of earthen banks, channels and
pond bays which have not been dated but are thought to be associated with a
former mill. These earthworks extend for 200m west of the castle, along the
banks of the River Stort.
The site is identified as one of the castles to which the French party at
Edward the Confessor's court fled in 1052. If so, Clavering Castle would be
of pre-Conquest date. The footbridge on the north-west side of the monument
is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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.

Clavering Castle and associated earthworks are well preserved and may be
pre-Norman in date. The earthworks and buried features within the
interior of the monument will retain archaeological and environmental
information relating to the development and internal layout of the castle, the
ecomony of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1903), 291-93
SMR No. 113, SMR No. 113,

Source: Historic England

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