Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ringwork 90m south east of Plowden Mill

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbury North, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4782 / 52°28'41"N

Longitude: -2.9064 / 2°54'22"W

OS Eastings: 338537.042112

OS Northings: 287084.183473

OS Grid: SO385870

Mapcode National: GBR BB.JTCG

Mapcode Global: VH75Z.KZW2

Entry Name: Ringwork 90m south east of Plowden Mill

Scheduled Date: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020153

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34904

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Lydbury North

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Lydbury North

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork, situated
at the western end of a low ridge above the steep southern valley side of the
River Onny. From this location there are extensive views of Onny valley and
the surrounding uplands. The ringwork is rectangular in plan measuring
approximately 42m north to south by 47m east to west. On the southern and
eastern sides, where the ground gently rises, it is defined by a ditch between
7m and 8m wide. The spoil excavated from the ditch has been used to create a
steep-sided, flat-topped mound raised by as much as 1.8m on the eastern side
and up to 2.8m on the other sides. Along the southern and eastern sides of
this raised platform are the remains of an earthen bank. The height of the
bank on the southern side is considerably lower than that to the east,
averaging 0.5m high. At the south eastern corner the bank stands about 1m high
and rises to 2.7m at the north eastern end. Within the interior, which
measures approximately 21m by 25m, are slight undulations, which are
considered to mark the positions of former buildings.

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 90m south east of Plowden Mill is a fine example of this class of
monument. Rectangular ringworks are very rare nationally, the majority being
circular or irregular in plan. The form of the ringwork is unusual in that the
interior has been 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 lifestyles of those who inhabited
the site. In addition, organic remains preserved in the buried ground surface
beneath the raised interior 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

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