Ringwork and baileys at Church Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Sep-2019 at 01:26:31.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Maidstone (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 84618 61621
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 some damage caused by the construction of modern buildings and structures, by subsequent quarrying and dumping, and by tree roots, the ringwork and baileys at Stockbury survive as visually impressive earthworks and in buried form, and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed and used.
The monument includes the earthworks and interior of a Norman ringwork, along
with its two baileys or outer wards, situated on a chalk hill which forms part
of the Kent Downs. The ringwork itself lies to the north west and is a roughly
circular, raised, level area c.56m in diameter, which originally contained the
main, residential buildings. These are no longer visible as standing features,
but will survive as buried foundations beneath the modern farm buildings and
the ground which surrounds them. The ringwork is enclosed by a dry, v-shaped
ditch c.10m wide and around 2m deep, surviving as an earthwork to the south
west and south east, with a causeway allowing access to the interior on its
south eastern side. The profile of the ditch has become partially distorted by
a small, modern quarry on its south western side and by modern rubbish
dumping. To the south east of the ringwork is a semicircular, inner bailey in
which the ancillary buildings, such as stables, workshops and soldiers'
accommodation, would have been sited. This level area is defined by a bank
0.5m high and 0.4m wide, bounded by a dry ditch up to 14m wide and around 3m
deep, although it has become partially infilled in places over the years. To
the south east is a larger, outer bailey enclosed by a slightly curving ditch
c.3m wide and 1m deep. This has been partially disturbed at its south western
end by a small, modern chalk quarry. The ditch has a slight, inner bank c.0.2m
The modern farmhouse, its associated outbuildings, those farm buildings
situated within the protected area, and all modern walls and fences which
cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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