Ancient Monuments

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Ardley Wood moated ringwork

A Scheduled Monument in Ardley, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9421 / 51°56'31"N

Longitude: -1.2171 / 1°13'1"W

OS Eastings: 453909.679159

OS Northings: 227361.025907

OS Grid: SP539273

Mapcode National: GBR 8WV.C27

Mapcode Global: VHCWW.VGD0

Entry Name: Ardley Wood moated ringwork

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1951

Last Amended: 11 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015554

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28166

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Ardley

Built-Up Area: Fewcott

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Ardley with Fewcott

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a sub-rectangular earthwork enclosure representing an
earthwork ringwork, situated c.100m south west of Manor Farm in Ardley Wood.
Quarries lie to the immediate south and west of the site.
The earthworks consist of a 7m wide ditch which is open to a depth of c.2.3m
with a single causeway entrance in the north east corner. The ditch encloses
an area 66m from north to south and between 40m and 50m from east to west.
There was originally a low internal bank which is now only visible on parts of
the north west and south east sides. Where visible this measures c.2.5m wide
and stands up to 0.6m high. This may well have been much more substantial or
included a pallisade or wall in its original form.
Within the enclosure are several possible building platforms which may
represent accommodation and stables.
The monument is believed to have originally been a Norman ringwork reused
later in the medieval period as a dry-moated settlement site.
Excluded from the scheduling is the boundary fence, although the ground
beneath is included.

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.

The ringwork in Ardley Wood survives well and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which
it was built. Evidence for the site having been reused as a moated settlement
later in the medieval period gives it an unusual dimension.

Source: Historic England


PRN 2526, C.A.O., Moat ? Site of Castle, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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