Ancient Monuments

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Hall's Close: a ringwork and bailey 100m west of Kentend Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.649 / 51°38'56"N

Longitude: -1.9303 / 1°55'48"W

OS Eastings: 404919.769412

OS Northings: 194473.694363

OS Grid: SU049944

Mapcode National: GBR 3RR.JT4

Mapcode Global: VHB2Y.HTD6

Entry Name: Hall's Close: a ringwork and bailey 100m west of Kentend Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1951

Last Amended: 26 March 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013197

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12292

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Ashton Keynes

Built-Up Area: Ashton Keynes

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Ashton Keynes

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a ringwork and bailey set on level ground immediately
north of a tributary of the River Thames. The ringwork comprises a raised
platform 0.5m above ground level and 50m across defined by a low inner bank
and a broad ditch 10m wide and 1m deep. To the west of the ringwork is a
level bailey, again defined by bank and ditch, the bank standing to a maximum
height of c.1m. Remains of an additional outer bank can be traced in fields
immediately south of the southern arm of the ditch. East of the ringwork is a
further extension of the bailey. This appears to have been reduced by
cultivation although the ditch can still be traced as a low earthwork running
NNW-SSE. It survives to a width of c.3m and is 0.2m deep. The moat
surrounding the ringwork was fed by a channel linking the monument with a
tributary of the River Thames. This can be traced in a field south of the
ringwork as a linear feature c.4m wide and 0.3m deep.
The site was partially excavated by a local, Gp Cpt Knocker, in 1959. This
revealed a dry stone wall set in the bank of the ringwork and a clay-lined
ditch. Finds of pottery and metalwork, believed to be contemporary with the
monument, were recovered.

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.

The Hall's Close site survives well and has considerable potential for the
recovery of archaeological remains. The importance of the monument is
enhanced by the likelihood of the survival of below-ground waterlogged and
organic remains, as a result of its location on level ground adjacent to a
tributary of the River Thames. Such evidence will provide a detailed insight
into the economy of the people who inhabited the site and the environment in
which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 49, (1942)
'Medieval Archaeology' in Medieval Archaeology, ()

Source: Historic England

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