Ancient Monuments

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Ringwork in Dallam Park 380m south east of Dallam Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Beetham, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.2206 / 54°13'14"N

Longitude: -2.7781 / 2°46'41"W

OS Eastings: 349360.757395

OS Northings: 480817.238666

OS Grid: SD493808

Mapcode National: GBR 9M1M.BT

Mapcode Global: WH83G.95BS

Entry Name: Ringwork in Dallam Park 380m south east of Dallam Tower

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1973

Last Amended: 3 September 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021248

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35029

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Beetham

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Beetham St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a medieval ringwork located in Dallam Park on a
prominent hilltop known as Castle Hill 380m south east of Dallam Tower. It
is strategically situated to overlook the lowest bridging point of the
River Bela and the village of Milnthorpe. Although no documentary evidence
exists relating to the construction of the ringwork it is thought to be a
precursor to the 14th century Dallam Tower.

The ringwork includes a sub-circular earth and stone mound measuring up to
42m east-west by 35m north-south. It has a flat top which has been created
by raising the mound above the surrounding landscape only slightly on the
north side but between 2m and 4m elsewhere. The top of the mound measures
27m by 22m and it contains an earth and stone bank up to 0.35m high around
its eastern, southern and western edges. The monument lies within land on
the Parks and Gardens Register where it is known as Dallam Tower, GD1655.

All posts and fencing surrounding young trees 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

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 on Castle Hill in Dallam Park 380m south east of Dallam Tower
is a rare example of this class of monument in north west England and
despite the absence of an obvious defensive ditch it survives reasonably
well. It is considered to be the forerunner of the nearby Dallam Tower, a
14th century stronghold, and as such attests to the military importance of
this area during the later medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Curwen, J F, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Extra Ser.' in Castles and Towers of Cumb, West and Lancs N of the Sands, , Vol. XIII, (1913), 273
Oxford Archaeology North, , 'Oxford Archaeology North' in Fallen Tree, Dallam Tower Estate Cumbria, (2003), 1-7
AM7, Charlesworth, D, Earthwork in Dallam Park, (1971)
Parks and Gardens Register, Dallam Tower,
SMR No. 2492, Cumbria SMR, Earthwork in Dallam Park, Beetham, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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