Ringwork at The Round House, Brogborough Park Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 97026 38489

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.

Although considerably altered by later building and quarrying, the ringwork at The Round House retains important archaeological remains. The area of the bailey which lies to the east of The Round House retains its full potential for the recovery of the below-ground remains of buildings associated with the bailey. Environmental evidence may be recovered from silts preserved in the partially infilled ditch and from buried landsurface beneath the rampart bank.


The monument includes a ringwork castle which is situated on a promontory on the north-east facing scarp of the Bedfordshire Greensand ridge and lies in the grounds of The Round House, a derelict 19th century building, Grade II Listed. Although considerably altered by the construction of the house and associated landscaping, the southern quadrant of the castle survives as a substantial earthwork and in the northern quadrant the line of the ramparts can be discerned as distinct scarps. The castle is oval in plan measuring about 130m north-south by 100m east-west and comprises a central stronghold, the ringwork, with an outer defended court, or bailey, to the north, and is further defended to the south and west by a ditch and outer bank. The remains of the ringwork are visible to the south-east of The Round House as a pair of mounds about 5m high and 10m wide, which have been altered by quarrying but which were originally linked to form a full circuit of estimated diameter 45m. The bailey is located on a terrace to the east of The Round House and its northern limit is discernable as a steep scarp, about 2.5m high, which curves around the north side of the house. The Round House is built into the west-facing scarp of the terrace and the eastern part is covered in dense undergrowth. The outer ditch is clearly visible south of the ringwork where it ranges from 8m to 18m in width. Over the years the ditch has become infilled and is now about 1m deep. The bank which lies on the outer edge of the ditch is slightly eroded by ploughing but is still 1m high and up to 10m wide. The ditch and bank are considered to continue around the west side of the house, beneath the existing driveway. To the north-west of the house the line of the outer bank is visible as a steep scarp the top of which lies some 15m from the building. Along the north and east sides, the steep natural slope provided adequate defence and the outer ramparts are not present. The north slope is slightly altered by an old quarry. The monument has been identified as 'Rugemont Castle', stronghold of the Wahull family and their successors the de Greys. The ringwork is one of two castles in the parish; the other is a motte at the north end of Ridgmont village. The Round House and its deep basements are totally excluded from the scheduling. The adjacent outbuildings and barns are also excluded along with the garden walls and fences and the metalled surface of the driveway but 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:


Books and journals
Williams, S, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1912)
Beds. record no.33: Ridgmont Castle,
Map and accompanying text, Enclosure Award, (1814)
NAR Record,
Title: Survey of Brogborough Park (26inch=1mile) Source Date: 1728 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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