This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Medieval ringwork with bailey and approach causeway, incorporating a bowl barrow on Castle Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Medieval ringwork with bailey and approach causeway, incorporating a bowl barrow on Castle Hill

List entry Number: 1014864


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Shepway

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Folkestone

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Aug-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Jul-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12826

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 at Castle Hill is the largest and most complete ringwork in the south east of England and survives to a large extent undisturbed by later activities. Its archaeological potential is therefore considerable, as has been demonstrated during small-scale part excavation by General Pitt-Rivers in 1878. These excavations have also led to above average archaeological documentation of the castle. The causeway linking the castle to the approach lane is a rare survival of an originally common component of castles and one which demonstrates the use of natural defences beyond the limits of the castle itself. The Bronze Age bowl barrow which was incorporated into the causeway adds to the diversity of the monument and is itself of considerable archeological potential since it shows no evidence of having been seriously disturbed.


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


The monument includes the site of a castle of Norman origin and its defended approach causeway, and a Bronze Age burial mound with an encircling ditch. A large defensive earthen bank or rampart encloses the summit of Castle Hill, except on the western side where the steep slope was sufficient defence. The rampart averages some 20m in width and, when taken in conjunction with the deep outer ditch, presented a long and steep slope to any would-be attacker. Within the enclosed area is a smaller oval enclosure surrounded by another ditch. This inner enclosure, or ringwork, measures 105m east-west by 72m north-south and was the site of the main residential buildings of the castle as well as a small chapel. Between the ringwork and the outer bank was the bailey; an enclosed area in which ancillary buildings such as soldiers' accommodation, storage huts, workshops and stables would have been sited. A raised causeway crosses the bailey, joining the entrance to the ringwork on its eastern side with the entrance to the castle to the north east. This is the only original entrance, the other routes into the castle having been created more recently. Part excavation by General Pitt-Rivers in 1878 revealed a number of internal features, including a well over 29m deep within the ringwork. Several of his excavation trenches are still visible as hollows. Leading north eastwards from the castle is a causeway with a 3m wide ditch and bank on its western side. For over 100m the causeway stands raised above the general ground level. Also in this area is a low earthen mound 16m in diameter, slightly truncated by the causeway, which marks the site of a Bronze Age burial. The ditch around the mound is no longer visible.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pitt-Rivers, G, 'Archaeologia' in Folkestone Castle, , Vol. 47, (1883), 429-65
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Leach,P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Ringworks, (1988)

National Grid Reference: TR 21417 37960


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014864 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Mar-2018 at 05:18:04.

End of official listing