Ancient Monuments

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Ringwork and bailey in Place Wood, 680m WSW of Wanstead Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Southwick and Widley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.8787 / 50°52'43"N

Longitude: -1.098 / 1°5'52"W

OS Eastings: 463552.791151

OS Northings: 109185.638965

OS Grid: SU635091

Mapcode National: GBR BC3.Z1M

Mapcode Global: FRA 86LS.818

Entry Name: Ringwork and bailey in Place Wood, 680m WSW of Wanstead Farm

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1951

Last Amended: 25 June 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019114

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32552

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Southwick and Widley

Built-Up Area: Southwick

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Southwick

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a ringwork and bailey of probable 11th or 12th century
date, situated on a slight, south west facing spur within Place Wood, near
Southwick. The ringwork includes a roughly circular earthwork platform, 22m in
diameter and approximately 0.8m high, fully enclosed by a defensive bank and
outer ditch, each 6m to 8m wide. The larger bailey abuts it to the east and is
also enclosed by a bank and outer ditch which project from the ringwork
defences. Originally stirrup shaped, the bailey has been cut by a modern ha ha
and park boundary ditch, and now survives as a straight sided pentagonal
platform, approximately 55m by 65m in diameter and raised a similar height to
the ringwork. The defences are relatively uniform around the perimeter of both
enclosures, although the bank stands slightly higher around the ringwork, up
to 1.5m above the interior and 3m above the base of the ditch.
There is no apparent trace of any original internal features within either
part of the monument, or of an entrance or gateway, although a later trackway
enters the ringwork from the east and crosses onto the bailey over a low
causeway where an original bridge would normally be expected. This trackway
may be associated with a modern park keeper's lodge which is now demolished
but formerly stood at the western end of the monument, partly overlying the
bailey defences and resulting in their partial destruction. The octagonal
brick foundations of the lodge survive along with a number of associated
structural and garden features, including a brick well.
The area of bailey defences beyond the ha ha and boundary ditch to the south
has been destroyed by the modern construction of a military rifle range and is
not included in the scheduling. This area is also the location of an earlier
Roman mansio, the north eastern bank of which formerly intersected with the
bailey but is now also destroyed.
The construction of the monument has not been accurately dated, but its form
is typical of post-Conquest ringworks and motte and bailey castles of the 11th
and 12th centuries, and closely resembles the nearby ringwork and bailey at
Motley's Copse, which is thought to relate to Henry I's attempt to expel the
Earl of Arundel in 1101. At that time, Place Wood may have fallen within the
boundaries of the manor of Belney in Portsdown Hundred which was held by the
Mauduits, who also controlled Portchester Castle and the southern fringes of
the royal forest of Bere until the mid-12th century.

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 ringwork and bailey in Place Wood, 680m WSW of Wanstead Farm, survives
well despite some later disturbance by its use as a park keeper's lodge and ha
ha, and can be expected to retain important archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the original construction of the monument
and its later use. It has previously been described by JP Williams-Freeman as
a `perfect ... specimen of its kind' and forms part of a group of three or
four well-preserved mottes and ringworks associated with the royal forest of
Bere during the 11th and 12th centuries.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 410
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 337,410
Hughes, M F, 'Landscape Hist' in Hampshire Castles and the Landscape 1066-1216, , Vol. 11, (1989), 42
Soffe, G, Johnston, D, 'Rescue Archaeology in Hampshire' in Route 421 And Other Roman Roads In South Hampshire, , Vol. 2, (1974), 107

Source: Historic England

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