Ringwork 750m west of Grove Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014893

Date first listed: 01-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of Ringwork 750m west of Grove Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Much Dewchurch

National Grid Reference: SO 48558 31250


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 750m west of Grove Farm is a well preserved example of this class of monument, with an original entrance surviving. Evidence for the medieval structures enclosed within the bank, and for the activities which took place there, will be preserved in the interior. Material which has accumulated in the ditch will preserve environmental evidence for activity at and around the ringwork. These contexts will allow the function of the site to be more fully understood. Evidence for structures such as a bridge will also be preserved by the ditch fills, and the ringwork and counterscarps banks will retain evidence for their method of construction, and for the timber or stone enhancements which surmounted them. The ground surface sealed beneath the banks will preserve evidence for land use immediately prior to the construction of the monument. The ringwork forms part of the wider picture of the medieval defences of Herefordshire, and when viewed in association with other defensive monuments in the area it contributes to our understanding of the social and political organisation of the county in the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork, situated in the valley of the Worm Brook, some 750m west of Grove Farm. The monument occupies a slight rise in the ground and includes an earthen bank which encloses a roughly oval area, measuring c.50m north west-south east by c.38m transversely, including the bank itself. Material for the construction of the bank will have been quarried from the surrounding ditch, which averages 8m wide, and survives up to 2m deep in the north west and south east quarters. Elsewhere the ditch has become infilled, however it appears on aerial photographs as a continuous feature and will survive below ground in these areas. At its highest point the bank rises 4.5m above the bottom of the ditch. It will originally have been surmounted by a palisade to further enhance the visual impact and defensive capabilities of the ringwork. The area enclosed by the bank has been raised slightly above the level of the surrounding area, and the remains of the structures which originally occupied this space are visible as earthworks in the interior. Access to the ringwork was by means of a causeway across the ditch in the north eastern quarter, where a break in the bank is flanked by low mounds. A possible second entrance is indicated on the opposite side, where a similar break in the bank with slight mounding to either side can be seen. The remains of an external, or counterscarp bank, roughly 2m wide, survive in the north west quarter to a height of 0.6m. Its survival in this area is the result of its incorporation into a post-medieval field boundary: elsewhere the bank has been degraded by ploughing and is no longer visible. The ringwork is one of a concentration of medieval defensive sites in the area, one of its closest neighbours being the motte castle at Thruxton, some 6km to the north west, the subject of a separate scheduling (SM27492). All fences across the ringwork are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath them 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.

Legacy System number: 27541

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , Herefordshire, south west, (1931), 52
AF9/1-2, Hereford Record Office - County Archives, Much Dewchurch,
sketch plan & section, text, DRB, HWCM 00398, (1971)

End of official listing