Camp Ring motte and bailey castle, enclosure, fishpond and ridge and furrow 400m east of Culmington Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Camp Ring motte and bailey castle, enclosure, fishpond and ridge and furrow 400m east of Culmington Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Stanton Lacy
National Grid Reference:
SO 49724 82189

Reasons for Designation

Motte and bailey castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte and bailey castles generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Camp Ring motte and bailey castle survives well and is an excellent example of its class. The additional features associated with the castle, the L-shaped enclosure, fishpond and ridge and furrow, make the site of particular value and one of the most informative examples of its class in the county. The motte and bailey will retain valuable archaeological information relating to the method of construction and the occupation of the site. The stratified relationship of the motte and bailey, attached enclosure, fishpond and surrounding field system provide important information concerning the development and function of the site throughout the period of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed and the economy of its inhabitants will survive beneath the motte and banks and in the fills of the various ditches. Such complex monuments, when considered as single sites or as a part of a broader medieval landscape, contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, the development of the rural economy and the social stucture of the countryside during the medieval period.


The monument includes the remains of a motte and bailey castle, known as Camp Ring, an L-shaped enclosure, fishpond and parts of a field system with ridge and furrow ploughing. Camp Ring motte and bailey castle stands on a low ridge contained within the confluence of the River Corve to the west and Pye Brook to the east. The motte is roughly circular in plan with a base diameter of 28m rising 2.5m above the surrounding ground surface to a flat topped summit 16m in diameter. A well defined ditch averaging 7m wide and up to 1.3m deep surrounds the motte. The ditch would have originally been wet and remains seasonally water-filled around its north east and east sides. Here water- erosion and stock trampling over the years has flattened and widened the ditch profile to give a maximum width of 10m. Adjoining the motte and ditch on its south west side is a well defined bailey, designed to protect the domestic buildings of the castle. It is sub-circular in plan and is enclosed by a substantial bank 5m wide and 0.7m high with an outer ditch 5m wide and 0.5m deep, from which the material for the bank would have been quarried. The interior of the bailey is roughly at the same level as the surrounding ground surface and slopes slightly north east to south west. The lowest portion is in the south west quadrant of the bailey which is subject to seasonal waterlogging. A shallow channel 4m wide and 0.2m deep runs south west, downhill from the south west corner of the bailey for 30m before fading out on the hillslope. A channel 4m wide and 0.6m deep extends from the south east junction of motte and bailey ditches for 30m to the south east then turns east, running for some 50m to connect with the field ditch to the east. A lowering of the bank, with a corresponding interruption of the ditch, positioned midway along the southern side of the bailey probably represents the position of the original entrance. To the immediate north east of the motte is a large L-shaped enclosure defined by a bank and ditch. The north west side of the enclosure is formed by a low inner bank averaging 4m wide and 0.4m high with an outer ditch 3m wide and 0.3m deep. This runs north eastwards from the north west corner of the bailey on a similar alignment to the north west side of the bailey itself. The bank turns at right angles towards the south east after 80m, fading out after some 20m. The outer ditch similarly turns to the south east and continues for 100m. It then turns to the south at right angles for 30m then, similarly, to the WNW, running for 60m before turning to the south west for 30m to join with the north east corner of the motte ditch. The interior of the L-shaped enclosure is occupied by two blocks of ridge and furrow cultivation separated by a north east to south west aligned headland. The western block lies on this alignment and runs the full length of the enclosure interior. The eastern block lies at right angles, parallel with the eastern arm of the enclosure and terminates in the west on the headland and in the east on the west bank of a small fishpond. The length of the blocks is too short to accommodate the turning of an oxen team, suggesting that they represent the remains of ridged cultivation, possibly supporting an orchard. The fishpond lies within the eastern arm of the enclosure and respects its overall north east to south west orientation. It is a rectangular hollow 20m long by 12m wide averaging 1m in depth, bounded on all sides by a low bank 0.5m high. Gaps in the bank at the north west and south east corners may represent the outlet and inlet channels linking the pond with the enclosure ditch. Sluices positioned in these channels would have controlled the flow of water and allowed drainage of the pond. The water management system of which the pond is a part includes the ditches of the L-shaped enclosure and those of the motte and bailey. To the north, north west, east and south east of the motte and bailey, enclosure and fishpond, are the earthwork remains of an extensive and well defined system of open fields. These comprise blocks, or furlongs, of broad ridge and furrow earthworks, the individual cultivation strips averaging 8m in width. The furlongs, which lie roughly at right angles to each other, are separated from each other by well defined plough headlands. The furlong adjacent to the northern side of the L-shaped enclosure including the headlands to the west, north and east is complete, whereas all of the other earthworks are parts of blocks of ploughing which have been truncated by modern agriculture. The complete furlong is included within the scheduling as a sample of the field system as a whole, and a 10m wide strip is included all around the monument to protect the stratigraphic relationships between the field system as a whole and the motte and bailey complex.

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.

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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

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