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Clavering Castle: a ringwork with associated earthworks north of the church of St Mary and St Clement

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Clavering Castle: a ringwork with associated earthworks north of the church of St Mary and St Clement

List entry Number: 1011779


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Clavering

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 10-Aug-1923

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1992

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20676

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Clavering Castle and associated earthworks are well preserved and may be pre-Norman in date. The earthworks and buried features within the interior of the monument will retain archaeological and environmental information relating to the development and internal layout of the castle, the ecomony of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument includes Clavering Castle, a ringwork with associated earthworks, situated 50m north of the church of St Mary and St Clement on the southern bank of the River Stort. The ringwork survives as a rectangular enclosure 150m east-west by 100m north-south which is surrounded by a ditch 26m wide and 5m deep. The ditch remains partly waterfilled, particularly to the north and west. The interior of the enclosure, which is at the same level as the surrounding ground level, is undulating, indicating the presence of buried structural remains. The original entrance to the enclosure crosses the ditch at the south-eastern corner at the location of a more recent trackway. Immediately north of the northern enclosure ditch is a retaining bank 10m wide and c.2m high, associated with a series of earthen banks, channels and pond bays which have not been dated but are thought to be associated with a former mill. These earthworks extend for 200m west of the castle, along the banks of the River Stort. The site is identified as one of the castles to which the French party at Edward the Confessor's court fled in 1052. If so, Clavering Castle would be of pre-Conquest date. The footbridge on the north-west side of the monument is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1903), 291-93
SMR No. 113, SMR No. 113,

National Grid Reference: TL 47004 31906


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This copy shows the entry on 24-Sep-2018 at 09:30:45.

End of official listing