The Castle ringwork, Berry Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010250

Date first listed: 06-Aug-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Apr-1992


Ordnance survey map of The Castle ringwork, Berry Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Northamptonshire

District: South Northamptonshire (District Authority)

Parish: Culworth

National Grid Reference: SP 54453 46985


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

The Castle Ringwork at Berry Hill, Culworth, is one of seven surviving ringworks in Northamptonshire and has documentary evidence for its origins. The site also forms part of an unusual cluster of ringworks, as Culworth, Weedon Lois, Canons Ashby and Sulgrave, all lie within 5kms of each other. The earthworks survive well and the monument will contain evidence concerning the development of the site and its relationship with the other ringworks nearby.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The castle ringwork at Culworth is situated at Berry Hill. It is located at the south eastern end of the village and lies immediately to the north of St Mary's church, which has Norman origins. The ringwork has a roughly circular bank about 3m high which encloses a central area about 25m across. The interior of the ringwork is slightly raised above the surrounding ground level and has some irregularities suggesting the presence of buried structures. On the western side, the ringwork bank is lower which may indicate the entrance to the interior. The ringwork is encompassed by a ditch 2m deep and up to 6m wide. The ditch has been altered in the south east corner by work on the Old Rectory garden in the last century and the churchyard has cut into the western ditch. On the northern side of the ringwork there are traces of a slight outer bank. It is recorded in Domesday that this area was held by Landric of Ghilo. It is known too that he held part of Sulgrave, and that Sulgrave was associated with Weedon Lois. Ringworks are preserved at all three sites.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 3 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 13664

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological sites of Northamptonshire, Volume III39

End of official listing