Ancient Monuments

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Tower Tye ringwork

A Scheduled Monument in Brampton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.9514 / 54°57'4"N

Longitude: -2.6808 / 2°40'50"W

OS Eastings: 356493.641768

OS Northings: 562071.671048

OS Grid: NY564620

Mapcode National: GBR 9CQ5.DV

Mapcode Global: WH7ZT.STM2

Entry Name: Tower Tye ringwork

Scheduled Date: 26 August 1924

Last Amended: 12 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013969

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27697

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Brampton

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Brampton St Martin

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the medieval Tower Tye ringwork, also known as Tortie.
It is located on a local high point, a short distance north of the main A69
Carlisle - Newcastle road, from where there are extensive views in all
directions. The ringwork includes a circular earthwork having well defined
defences which consist of an inner bank, a ditch and an outer bank. The
ringwork's flat interior measures approximately 40m in diameter and would
originally have contained buildings. The inner bank running around the edge of
the interior measures approximately 6m wide by 1m high. It is flanked by a
ditch measuring c.2.5m wide by 0.5m deep which in turn is flanked by an outer
bank measuring up to 5m wide by 0.5m high.

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.

Despite some disturbance by tree root activity, Tower Tye ringwork survives
reasonably well and remains unencumbered by modern development. Its earthworks
in particular remain well preserved and the monument will retain significant
archaeological evidence associated with the occupation of its interior and the
construction of its defences.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Curwen, J F, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Extra Ser.' in Castles and Towers of Cumb, West and Lancs N of the Sands, , Vol. XIII, (1913), 213
FMW Report, Fairless, K, Tower Tye, (1993)
Leach,P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Ringworks, (1988)
SMR No. 307, Cumbria SMR, Tower Tye Earthworks, Naworth, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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