Woodgarston ring motte
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1001915
Date first listed: 05-Feb-1951
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)
Parish: Wootton St. Lawrence
National Grid Reference: SU 58453 55077
Ringwork 300m ENE of Mount Pleasant
Reasons for Designation
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 having been partly levelled on the south, the ringwork at Woodgarston Farm is a good example of its type. The earthworks are well preserved and the interior contains remains of a well and indications of further buildings. The site has not been excavated and holds potential for further investigation. It will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and use of the ringwork as well as the landscape in which it was constructed.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 June 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a ringwork surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains. It is situated just below the summit of a chalk plateau at Woodgarston Farm, north-east of Upper Wootten.
The earthworks include a sub-circular enclosure approximately 40m in diameter defined by a bank, 2.4m above ground level, and an external ditch. The top of the bank is about 5.8m above the bottom of the ditch. The earthworks have been partly levelled at the south. On the west side is a causeway across the ditch and a lowering of the bank, which is likely to be the location of an original entrance. The interior of the enclosure is a slightly raised at the north-east corner indicating the site of a building. The standing and buried remains of a well also survive within the interior and are included in the scheduling. The ringwork is considered to have had an associated bailey enclosure to the south, in the area now occupied by buildings of Woodgarston Farm, and one to the east but these are not included in the scheduling.
The ringwork is possibly mentioned under ‘Wealagaerstune’ in a charter of AD 945. It has been suggested that it was associated with a small settlement of 10th century or earlier origin. In 1995 an archaeological watching brief on the site of a new telecommunications tower at Woodgarston Farm, in the immediate vicinity of the monument, did not reveal any archaeological features of deposits.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: HA 103
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Hampshire HER 20940, 35931. NMR SU55NE17. PastScape 236491,
OS Maps (1:2500): 1872, 1896, 1911,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing