Castell Brogyntyn ringwork castle 300m north east of Brogyntyn Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013488

Date first listed: 18-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Nov-1995


Ordnance survey map of Castell Brogyntyn ringwork castle 300m north east of Brogyntyn Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Selattyn and Gobowen

National Grid Reference: SJ 27343 31376


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.

Castell Brogyntyn ringwork castle remains in good condition and is an exceptionally fine example of its class. The castle will retain valuable archaeological information relating to its construction and to the character of its occupation both within the interior of the site and incorporated within the defensive earthworks. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will survive beneath the rampart and in the sediments of the ditch. Such castle sites, when considered either as a single site or as a part of a broader medieval landscape, contribute important information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period. The later works, including the bowling green, semicircular building and the tunnel beneath the ringwork, although relating to a later period of parkland use, are also regarded as important parts of the monument. They illustrate exceptionally well how visually spectacular archaeological sites were incorporated into ornamental landscapes at later periods.


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


The monument includes Castell Brogyntyn ringwork castle, and the tunnel beneath it. The ringwork is situated in Brogyntyn Park (an area of landscaped parkland associated with Brogyntyn Hall). It is sited in a strategically strong position on the northern tip of a spur of high ground overlooking land falling to the north, west and east. The castle is traditionally thought to have been constructed by Brogyntyn, the son of the Welsh Prince Owen Madre. The site has exceptional defensive strength achieved through both its siting and through the scale of its artificial defences.

It includes a well defined outer ditch 6m wide and averaging 2m deep which has been cut around the end of the spur to form a circular enclosure with an overall diameter of 80m. Around the south east side of the site there are traces of an outer bank up to 5m wide and 0.4m high flanking the outer edge of the ditch. The ditch is interrupted for approximately 5m in the north east quarter of its circuit by what is probably an entrance to the castle. At this point the outer edge of the ditch curves outwards on both sides of the gap towards the north, running for approximately 30m as a shallow sunken way. A lowering of the inner rampart corresponding with this feature suggests that it represents an approach to the interior of the ringwork. This entrance may be associated with the medieval occupation of the castle or with its modern period of use as a bowling green. Rising from the base of the ditch is a steep sided rampart up to 5.2m high on its outer face and 1.6m high on its inner face, enclosing a circular area 47m in diameter.

The interior of the ringwork has been levelled and used as a bowling green. In the north west quarter of the interior, built partly into the inner face of the medieval rampart, are the remains of a small circular, or semicircular building with an internal diameter of 5m. The stone and brick walls stand to a height of 1.5m around the west side, where it is set into the rampart. Scattered broken slates in the immediate vicinity indicate that it originally had a slate roof. It is believed to relate to the period when the interior was used as a bowling green, and is included in the scheduling.

A striking feature of the site is a rock cut tunnel which has been cut diagonally north west to south east through the natural strata beneath the ringwork. The tunnel entrances lie in the ringwork ditch, it is some 80m long, averages 2m high and 1.5m wide and curves slightly towards its centre so that it is not possible to see directly from one end to the other. It is however possible to walk its full length. At both ends of the tunnel the outer face of the ringwork ditch has gaps cut through it directly opposite the tunnel. The tunnel was either built as part of an elaborate landscape walk through the parkland or it was part of a water distribution system, perhaps associated with the ornamental lakes below the castle to the north west. The tunnel is included in the scheduling.

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.

Legacy System number: 19220

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Castell Brogyntyn , (1908), 387
King, , Alcock, (ed Taylor, Chateau Gaillard III, (1969)

End of official listing