Hawcocks Mount ringwork castle 200m north east of Hawcocks Farm

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1013494
Date first listed:
17-Oct-1969
Date of most recent amendment:
15-Nov-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Hawcocks Mount ringwork castle 200m north east of Hawcocks Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District:
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Westbury
National Grid Reference:
SJ 34907 07771

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.

Hawcocks Mount ringwork survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, and to the character of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the rampart and in the lower sediments of the ditch fill. The proximity of Caus Castle which lies approximately 1km to the west of the ringwork, and the suggestion in the 14th century field name that the two sites are related to each other, adds to the archaeological importance of the site. Such monuments when considered, either as individual sites, or as a part of the broader medieval landscape contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern, economy, military technology and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period.

Details

The monument includes Hawcocks Mount, the remains of a ringwork castle situated on an east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Rea, along which ran the old routeway from Shrewsbury to Montgomery. The ringwork stands in a field which was known in 1361 as Aldescausefield (Old Caus Field) subsequently this became corrupted to Hawcocks Field. The name is believed to refer to Caus Castle, a major Norman castle and borough which lies approximately 1km to the west. It is possible that the ringwork is associated with the larger site and that it may be the predecessor of the castle. The ringwork is roughly circular in plan with an overall diameter of approximately 72m and includes an outer ditch, scarped rampart and inner bank. The ditch survives as a substantial earthwork, averaging 8m wide and 2m deep around the west, south and south east sides of the site; it remains water-filled around the south east quarter. A causeway 3m wide crosses the ditch in the south west quarter of the site. Around the north and north east sides of the site the ditch is no longer visible but it will survive as a buried feature of similar proportions. A substantial scarp rises from the ditch to a height of 7m and is surmounted around its upper edge by a pronounced bank 4m wide and 1.5m high, interrupted in its northern quarter by a possible entrance gap 5m wide. The interior of the ringwork is roughly oval in plan with dimensions of 33m north to south by 28m transversely. Its surface is level with no visible earthworks.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
19208
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume VIII, (1968), 303
Other
Record No 250, Record No. 250,

Legal

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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