Tower Tye ringwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013969

Date first listed: 26-Aug-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Tower Tye ringwork
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Brampton

National Grid Reference: NY 56494 62072


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.

Despite some disturbance by tree root activity, Tower Tye ringwork survives reasonably well and remains unencumbered by modern development. Its earthworks in particular remain well preserved and the monument will retain significant archaeological evidence associated with the occupation of its interior and the construction of its defences.


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


The monument includes the medieval Tower Tye ringwork, also known as Tortie. It is located on a local high point, a short distance north of the main A69 Carlisle - Newcastle road, from where there are extensive views in all directions. The ringwork includes a circular earthwork having well defined defences which consist of an inner bank, a ditch and an outer bank. The ringwork's flat interior measures approximately 40m in diameter and would originally have contained buildings. The inner bank running around the edge of the interior measures approximately 6m wide by 1m high. It is flanked by a ditch measuring c.2.5m wide by 0.5m deep which in turn is flanked by an outer bank measuring up to 5m wide by 0.5m high.

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: 27697

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Curwen, J F, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Extra Ser.' in Castles and Towers of Cumb, West and Lancs N of the Sands, , Vol. XIII, (1913), 213
FMW Report, Fairless, K, Tower Tye, (1993)
Leach,P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Ringworks, (1988)
SMR No. 307, Cumbria SMR, Tower Tye Earthworks, Naworth, (1984)

End of official listing