Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Billings Ring large univallate hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbury North, Shropshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 52.4859 / 52°29'9"N

Longitude: -2.9294 / 2°55'45"W

OS Eastings: 336986.425789

OS Northings: 287958.971143

OS Grid: SO369879

Mapcode National: GBR B9.JFGT

Mapcode Global: VH75Z.5SQ5

Entry Name: Billings Ring large univallate hillfort

Scheduled Date: 17 September 1936

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021070

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34940

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 large univallate
hillfort known as Billings Ring. It is situated on the top, and at the eastern
end, of a ridge. The ground here slopes steeply to the east and south, gently
to the north, and is virtually level to the west. This ridge overlooks the
valley of the River Onny to the north and east, and there are extensive views
of the lower ground to the south and the hills beyond.

The hillfort is sub-rectangular in plan. Its overall dimensions are
approximately 155m north-south by 225m east-west, and its internal area is
about 1.7ha. The interior of the hillfort is defined by a rampart composed
largely of stone with a steep outer face. The back of this rampart survives as
an earthwork along the eastern side and along parts of the northern side. On
the southern, eastern and northern sides the rampart is bounded by an external
ditch. To the south west this ditch has been infilled and survives as a buried
feature, about 6m wide. On the northern side the vertical rock-cut face of the
ditch is still plainly visible beneath the outer face of the rampart. An outer
(counterscarp) bank, constructed of stone, defines the ditch along the
northern and western sides, and along the western half of the southern side.
The original entrance into the hillfort is on the western side and has been
widened in modern times. A break in the defences in the north eastern corner
appears to be modern, but may also conceal the buried remains of an original
subsiduary entrance passage. Much of the interior has been ploughed since the
mid-20th century. Sherds of Roman pottery recovered from the plough soil
indicate that the hillfort continued to be occupied in the Roman period.

All gate and fence posts, and wooden stiles, are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath these features 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

Large univallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying
shape, ranging in size between 1ha and 10ha, located on hilltops and
surrounded by a single boundary comprising earthworks of massive proportions.
They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used
between the fourth century BC and the first century AD, although evidence for
earlier use is present at most sites. The size of the earthworks reflects the
ability of certain social groups to mobilise the labour necessary for works on
such a monumental scale, and their function may have had as much to do with
display as defence. Large univallate hillforts are also seen as centres of
redistribution, both for subsistence products and items produced by craftsmen.
The ramparts are of massive proportions except in locations where steepness of
slope precludes easy access. They can vary between 6m and 20m wide and may
survive to a height of 6m. The ditches can measure between 6m and 13m wide and
between 3m and 5m deep. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or
two entrances which often take the form of long passages formed by inturned
ramparts and originally closed by a gate located towards the inner end of the
passageway. The entrance may be flanked by guardrooms and/or accompanied by
outworks. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large
storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and
square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often
represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Large
univallate hillforts are rare with between 50 and 100 examples recorded
nationally. Most are located within southern England where they occur on the
chalklands of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. The western edge of the distribution is
marked by scattered examples in north Somerset and east Devon, while further
examples occur in central and western England and outliers further north.
Within this distribution considerable regional variation is apparent, both in
their size, rampart structure and the presence or absence of individual
components. In view of the rarity of large univallate hillforts and their
importance in understanding the organisation and regional structure of Iron
Age society, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed
to be of national importance.

Despite modification to parts of its defensive circuit, the univallate
hillfort known as Billings Ring is a good example of this class of monument.
The earthwork and buried remains of the defences retain significant
information about their construction. In addition, organic remains surviving
in the buried ground surfaces beneath the rampart, counterscarp bank and
within the ditch will provide evidence about the local environment and the
use of the surrounding land before the hillfort was constructed and during its
occupation. Within the interior extensive remains of buried structures and
associated deposits will survive, containing organic remains and a range of
contemporary artefacts, which will provide valuable insights into the
activities and lifestyles of the inhabitants.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Transactions of the Caradoc & Severn Valley Field Club (1957-60)' in Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club (1957-60), (1960), 67

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.