Ringwork on Warfield Bank 500m south east of Park Cottage


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Ringwork on Warfield Bank 500m south east of Park Cottage
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Hopton Castle
National Grid Reference:
SO 37131 77405

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 ringwork on Warfield Bank survives well and is a good example of this class of monument. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, age and nature of use. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the surrounding bank and in the ditch fill. The proximity of Hopton Castle, which lies some 600m to the north west of the site and may be in some way associated with the ringwork, increases the archaeological importance of the site. Such monuments, when considered in relationship to other monuments of a similar period which occur in close proximity, contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period.


The monument includes the remains of a small ringwork castle situated on the summit of Warfield Bank, a small isolated knoll with extensive views in all directions. The position has been chosen for its strategic strength and the site is clearly designed as a military work. The ringwork is circular in plan with an overall diameter of 42m and includes a circular bank with an average width of 7m and height of 1.6m enclosing an internal area 25m in diameter. The interior surface of the enclosure originally would have been at the same level as the outside ground. However, the interior has been cut into in the north and south quarters creating deep water-filled hollows separated by a narrow stone ridge. Central to the ridge is a deep circular water-filled hollow cut into the stone. These excavations may be the result of stone quarrying; stone is close to the surface and a later quarry lies lower down the hill to the north east. A break 6m wide in the north east quarter of the bank, slightly out-turned on the south east side, appears to be an original entrance. A surrounding ditch, from which the material would have been quarried for the construction of the bank, is visible as a slight hollow 4m wide and 0.2m deep for a short length around the north west and south west sides; elsewhere it will survive as a buried feature of similar width. Local tradition suggests that the enclosure was constructed during the Civil War as an emplacement for the cannon shelling of Hopton Castle which lies 600m to the north west. There is a clear view of the castle from Warfield Bank.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 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.

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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.

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