Enclosed Iron Age farmstead 700m west of Horderley Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Enclosed Iron Age farmstead 700m west of Horderley Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2020 at 11:29:37.


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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 40121 86893

Reasons for Designation

The size and form of Iron Age enclosed settlements vary considerably from single farmsteads up to large semi-urban oppida. Farmsteads are generally represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where excavated, these sites are also found to contain storage pits for grain and other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling and tribal raiding. In central southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.

Castle Ring enclosed Iron Age farmstead survives well and is a good example of its class. The perimeter banks will contain valuable archaeological information concerning their date and method of construction. Both the ramparts and the interior of the site will contain archaeological information relating to the character of the occupation of the site. Environmental evidence relating to the economy of the inhabitants and the character of the landscape in which the enclosure was built will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the rampart and in the lower levels of the ditch fill.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of Castle Ring, a small Iron Age settlement enclosure with an internal area of c.0.3ha situated on the summit of Ridgeway Hill, a promontory above and south west of the River Onny. The enclosure is roughly triangular in plan with maximum dimensions of 74m north east to south west by 60m transversely. The earthworks were designed to make maximum defensive use of the natural strength of the promontory position with the minimum of artificial works. To the west and north west precipitous natural slopes fall towards the river, making any artificial defences unnecessary around this side of the enclosure. Around the north east and south east sides, where the ground falls less steeply, substantial earthwork ramparts have been constructed roughly at right-angles to each other. The northern is the better preserved; it lies orientated north west to south east, is 40m long, 10m wide and up to 2m high on its outer face, 1m on its inner. The southern rampart is less well defined, having been reduced and spread by past ploughing. It remains visible as an earthwork orientated roughly north east to south west up to 18m wide and 0.5m high on its outer face, 0.2m on its inner. At its eastern end it is joined roughly at right angles to the northern rampart. The northern arm of the defences terminates some 6m short of the western slope edge, this gap may represent the position of an original entrance; entrances in such locations are frequently found in this class of monument. The southern rampart also terminates short of the natural slope edge at its south west end, though evidence for an entrance at this point is less easy to confirm. Although no longer visible as surface features, both ramparts will have outer defensive ditches from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the ramparts. These ditches will survive as buried features with an estimated width of 6m and are included in the scheduling.

All fences within the protected area 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. 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.

End of official listing

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