Ancient Monuments

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Hawcocks Mount ringwork castle 200m north east of Hawcocks Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Westbury, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.6637 / 52°39'49"N

Longitude: -2.9639 / 2°57'49"W

OS Eastings: 334906.834454

OS Northings: 307770.576391

OS Grid: SJ349077

Mapcode National: GBR B7.5BYZ

Mapcode Global: WH8BX.F9VR

Entry Name: Hawcocks Mount ringwork castle 200m north east of Hawcocks Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1969

Last Amended: 15 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19208

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Westbury

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Westbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes Hawcocks Mount, the remains of a ringwork castle
situated on an east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Rea,
along which ran the old routeway from Shrewsbury to Montgomery. The ringwork
stands in a field which was known in 1361 as Aldescausefield (Old Caus Field)
subsequently this became corrupted to Hawcocks Field. The name is believed to
refer to Caus Castle, a major Norman castle and borough which lies
approximately 1km to the west. It is possible that the ringwork is associated
with the larger site and that it may be the predecessor of the castle.
The ringwork is roughly circular in plan with an overall diameter of
approximately 72m and includes an outer ditch, scarped rampart and inner bank.
The ditch survives as a substantial earthwork, averaging 8m wide and 2m deep
around the west, south and south east sides of the site; it remains
water-filled around the south east quarter. A causeway 3m wide crosses the
ditch in the south west quarter of the site. Around the north and north east
sides of the site the ditch is no longer visible but it will survive as a
buried feature of similar proportions. A substantial scarp rises from the
ditch to a height of 7m and is surmounted around its upper edge by a
pronounced bank 4m wide and 1.5m high, interrupted in its northern quarter by
a possible entrance gap 5m wide. The interior of the ringwork is roughly oval
in plan with dimensions of 33m north to south by 28m transversely. Its surface
is level with no visible earthworks.

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.

Hawcocks Mount ringwork survives well and is a good example of its class. It
will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, and to
the character of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the
landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land
surface beneath the rampart and in the lower sediments of the ditch fill. The
proximity of Caus Castle which lies approximately 1km to the west of the
ringwork, and the suggestion in the 14th century field name that the two sites
are related to each other, adds to the archaeological importance of the site.
Such monuments when considered, either as individual sites, or as a part of
the broader medieval landscape contribute valuable information relating to the
settlement pattern, economy, military technology and social organisation of
the countryside during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume VIII, (1968), 303
Record No 250, Record No. 250,

Source: Historic England

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