Panpudding Hill: a ringwork and bailey castle 100m south of Bridgnorth Station


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013493

Date first listed: 15-May-1946

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Panpudding Hill: a ringwork and bailey castle 100m south of Bridgnorth Station
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bridgnorth

National Grid Reference: SO 71516 92461


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.

The ringwork and bailey on Panpudding Hill is a particularly fine example of this rare class of monument. The ringwork and the bailey defences remain undisturbed and will retain valuable archaeological information relating to their construction, and to the character of their occupation. Although the interior of the bailey has been ploughed in the past it remains in good condition and will retain archaeological information buried below the ploughsoil. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the earthworks were constructed will be preserved beneath the ramparts and in the ditch fill. The proximity of Bridgnorth Castle which lies only some 250m to the north east and the likelihood that the two sites are in some way associated increases the archaeological and historical importance of the site. Such monuments, when considered either as single monuments or in relationship to other monuments of a similar period which occur in close proximity, contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern, social organisation of the countryside and military technology during the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a substantial ringwork and bailey castle and a building platform situated on Panpudding Hill, a steep sided promontory south of Bridgnorth and overlooking, to the east, the valley of the River Severn and, to the north, a steep sided valley. The ringwork is intervisible with the ruined Bridgnorth Castle, a tower keep castle (the subject of a separate scheduling) which occupies the southern tip of Castle Hill, a higher spur 250m to the north east, on the north side of the valley. The positions of both castles have been chosen for their strategic strength controlling a crossing place on the River Severn. Stylistically Panpudding Hill ringwork appears to be the earlier of the two, but its foundation has been attributed to Henry I who is believed to have constructed it in 1102 as a stronghold during his siege against the northern castle held by Robert de Bellesme. The castle earthworks are designed to make maximum use of the natural defensive strength of the hill. The ringwork itself is roughly oval in plan with maximum dimensions of 84m north east to south west by 68m transversely. The defences include a strong outer scarp averaging 3.5m high which has been created by cutting back the natural hillslope around the north, east and south sides of the spur to steepen the natural slope. This cutting into the slope has created an outer berm, averaging 3m wide around the north and north east and up to 14m wide around the south and south east. The ringwork outer scarp was continued around the west side of the hill, the natural approach along the ridge, by cutting a substantial ditch up to 8m wide and 1m deep across the neck of the spur. The summit of the prominence created is roughly circular in plan with a diameter of 50m. Around the west and south edges of this summit a substantial flat topped bank averaging 10m wide and 1m high has been constructed to strengthen the defences. The defended internal area of the ringwork is level and measures 47m north east to south west by 32m transversely. At the western end of the southern, outer, berm a lower terraced platform has been created against the south east junction between the ringwork and bailey. This may represent the site of a roughly rectangular building approximately 18m east to west by 10m transversely. Attached to the west side of the ringwork and separated from it by its western ditch, is a well defined enclosure, or bailey, within which domestic buildings associated with the castle would have been protected. It extends from the ringwork along the line of the ridge to the west and is roughly rectangular in plan; bounded on its north, west and south sides by a well defined scarp averaging 2.5m high. The fourth, east, side is formed by the western edge of the ringwork ditch. The bailey has internal dimensions of 44m east to west and transversely narrows from a width of 40m adjacent to the ringwork, to 18m at its western end. At the south east corner are earthworks representing an inner bank up to 0.5m high. At the western end of the bailey the inner bank is up to 6m wide and 0.9m high and, has an outer ditch 10m wide and 1.2m deep which cuts roughly north west to south east across the line of the spur. The ditch is believed to continue as a buried feature around the north and south sides of the bailey. All boundary features which fall within the area of the scheduling are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath 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: 19207

Legacy System: RSM


Record card No 369, Record Card No. 369,

End of official listing