Ancient Monuments

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Ringwork 540m north of Lane Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Alberbury with Cardeston, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.7017 / 52°42'6"N

Longitude: -3.0016 / 3°0'5"W

OS Eastings: 332415.155504

OS Northings: 312028.659815

OS Grid: SJ324120

Mapcode National: GBR B6.2TZ6

Mapcode Global: WH8BP.VCV4

Entry Name: Ringwork 540m north of Lane Farm

Scheduled Date: 27 October 1954

Last Amended: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019831

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33841

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Alberbury with Cardeston

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Great Wollaston

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork occupying
a slightly elevated position in an area of gently undulating and formerly
marshy land. It is one of a number of early medieval castle sites in this area
which controlled the movement of people along the valley between the Breidden
hills and Long Mountain. The closest of these castles survive at Wollaston and
Bretchel, at a distance of 500m and 1.25km respectively. Both of these castles
are the subject of separate schedulings.
The ringwork north of Lane Farm is a D-shaped enclosure where the internal
area has been raised above the level of the surrounding land to form a
flat-topped mound, measuring approximately 43m by 58m across the top and 50m
by 68m at its base. For the most part the mound stands about 1m high, but to
the east, where there is a natural depression, its height increases to 1.8m.
The mound was surmounted by a bank around its outer edge. This bank is no
longer visible as an upstanding earthwork as it has been levelled by
successive phases of ploughing since the 19th century. Evidence for it will,
however, survive as a buried feature. The mound is defined by a ditch about 4m
wide on its western side and up to 10m wide on its eastern side. An outer
bank, about 6m wide, on the western and northern western sides provided an
additional line of defence. The ditch has mainly been infilled during the
cultivation of the area and the external bank has also been spread and reduced
in height by ploughing. The remains of these defences will survive as buried

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 modification to the defensive circuit, the ringwork 540m north of Lane
Farm is a good example of this class of monument. In Shropshire, ringworks are
comparatively rare in relation to other types of contemporary early medieval
castles incorporating a conical mound, known as a motte, such as those at
Wollaston and Bretchel. The form of the ringwork north of Lane Farm is unusual
in that the interior has been raised above the level of the surrounding land.
Within the interior the remains of the structures will survive as buried
features, which together with the associated artefacts and organic remains,
will provide valuable evidence about the activities and life styles of those
who inhabited the ringwork. In addition, organic remains preserved in the
buried ground surfaces beneath the raised interior and under the external
bank, and deposited within the ditches, will provide information about the
local environment and the use of the land prior to and following the
construction of the ringwork.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume I, (1908), 382
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, CPAT 83/ 22,27,28; 83/C/ 341,342,343,494,495, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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