Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castle Grove: a ringwork 370m north-west of Elmdon church

A Scheduled Monument in Elmdon, Essex

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Latitude: 52.039 / 52°2'20"N

Longitude: 0.1271 / 0°7'37"E

OS Eastings: 545994.381584

OS Northings: 239980.929408

OS Grid: TL459399

Mapcode National: GBR L9F.2ZB

Mapcode Global: VHHL2.502Q

Entry Name: Castle Grove: a ringwork 370m north-west of Elmdon church

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011780

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20679

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Elmdon

Built-Up Area: Elmdon

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument consists of a ringwork situated on the crest of a north-east
facing slope overlooking the River Cam, 370m north-west of Elmdon church. The
interior contains a low mound, 45.5m in diameter and up to 1m high, with a
level surface, surrounded by a perimeter bank of between 1m and 2m in height;
this bank has been levelled on the south-eastern side. Surrounding the
interior is a dry ditch, 12m wide and now approximately 1.5m deep.

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.

Castle Grove survives well as an essentially undisturbed example of a
ringwork. It will retain archaeological information pertaining to the
occupation of the site and environmental evidence relating to the economy of
its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


SMR No. 3878, Information from SMR no 3878,

Source: Historic England

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