Ancient Monuments

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Remains of a medieval ringwork castle known as Crabb's Castle, 680m north east of Crabb's Castle Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wighton, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.9214 / 52°55'17"N

Longitude: 0.8468 / 0°50'48"E

OS Eastings: 591479.129019

OS Northings: 339795.620035

OS Grid: TF914397

Mapcode National: GBR R65.YQ9

Mapcode Global: WHKPL.ZTFQ

Entry Name: Remains of a medieval ringwork castle known as Crabb's Castle, 680m north east of Crabb's Castle Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Last Amended: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018175

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30540

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Wighton

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Wighton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes the buried remains of a circular enclosure believed to
be a small medieval ringwork, situated on top of a low rise 200m to the north
of and overlooking a minor road between Wighton and North Creake.

The enclosure has an overall diameter of approximately 61m and is defined by a
single ditch which has become infilled but which produces variations in crop
growth visible from the air and recorded on aerial photographs. Access was
provided by a causeway across the ditch on the north east side. In the 18th
century, when the earthworks were still visible, it was described as a
fortification with a double ditch, but it is possible that the illusion of a
second, outer ditch was produced by the presence of a counterscarp bank around
the first. Although the earthworks have now been reduced by ploughing, the
site remains visible as a low, circular mound approximately 0.5m in height and
is marked on the surface by a concentration of building materials in the
ploughsoil, chiefly flints, mortar and fragments of medieval clay roof tile
which are evidence for a building constructed within the enclosure, probably
in the later medieval period.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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 known as Crabb's Castle is one of only a small number to have
been identified in Norfolk and its location, commanding a view of the
surrounding area and the road to the south, is characteristic of this form of
earthwork. Although reduced by ploughing, it will retain archaeological
information concerning the date of its construction and the manner and
duration of its use, and the evidence for a substantial building within the
enclosure, probably of later date than the original construction of the
earthwork and suggesting continued use as a form of moated site, gives the
monument additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 205
Title: Map of Crabb's Castle Farm
Source Date: 1841
Norfolk R O Hayes & Storr 185/17

Source: Historic England

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