Ardley Wood moated ringwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015554

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Ardley Wood moated ringwork
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2018 at 17:44:55.


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

County: Oxfordshire

District: Cherwell (District Authority)

Parish: Ardley

National Grid Reference: SP 53909 27362


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 in Ardley Wood survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. Evidence for the site having been reused as a moated settlement later in the medieval period gives it an unusual dimension.


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


The monument includes a sub-rectangular earthwork enclosure representing an earthwork ringwork, situated c.100m south west of Manor Farm in Ardley Wood. Quarries lie to the immediate south and west of the site. The earthworks consist of a 7m wide ditch which is open to a depth of c.2.3m with a single causeway entrance in the north east corner. The ditch encloses an area 66m from north to south and between 40m and 50m from east to west. There was originally a low internal bank which is now only visible on parts of the north west and south east sides. Where visible this measures c.2.5m wide and stands up to 0.6m high. This may well have been much more substantial or included a pallisade or wall in its original form. Within the enclosure are several possible building platforms which may represent accommodation and stables. The monument is believed to have originally been a Norman ringwork reused later in the medieval period as a dry-moated settlement site. Excluded from the scheduling is the boundary fence, 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.

Legacy System number: 28166

Legacy System: RSM


PRN 2526, C.A.O., Moat ? Site of Castle, (1992)

End of official listing