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Ringwork south of St Wilfred's Chapel

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Ringwork south of St Wilfred's Chapel

List entry Number: 1015982


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

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Selsey

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 15-Mar-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jun-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12887

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 south of St Wilfred's chapel is well documented archaeologically and still retains considerable archaeological potential despite the limited disturbance caused by the partial excavation and by burials in the churchyard. The significance of the ringwork is considerably enhanced by the possibility of Anglo-Saxon occupation on the same site and by its close association with St Wilfred's Chapel which predated the construction of the ringwork and continued in use throughout its lifetime.


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


The monument includes a semi-circular earthen bank and outer ditch and the area within the earthworks in which the remains of stone buildings have been located. This area forms the southern half of a Norman ringwork castle, the northern half of which has been incorporated into the churchyard of St Wilfred's chapel. The outer ditch is the most easily visible feature. It defines a semi-circle 90m across and takes the form of a ditch some 12m wide and 1.8-2m deep which is likely to have been water-filled for defence. On the inner edge is a bank which has been disturbed on the SW side but which survives to some 2.5m in height to the SE. A narrow strip of the flat interior area was excavated in 1911, and the foundations located then were explored further in 1965. They were shown to be the remains of a strong stone tower 9.5m square, with a second building 6.5m by 5.5m to the east of the tower which was interpreted as a residence. Other buildings are considered very likely to survive in the interior of the castle. Finds from the excavation showed that the castle had been built soon after the Norman invasion of 1066 and had been occupied for less than a century. They also suggested that the castle had been built on a site which had seen significant activity in the preceding Anglo-Saxon period.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Aldsworth, F G, Garnett, E D, Excav. on The Mound at Church Norton, Selsey, in 1911 and 1965, (1981)

National Grid Reference: SZ 87216 95695


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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 - 1015982 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2018 at 05:12:30.

End of official listing