Ringwork and bailey in Place Wood, 680m WSW of Wanstead Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019114

Date first listed: 05-Feb-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jun-2001


Ordnance survey map of Ringwork and bailey in Place Wood, 680m WSW of Wanstead Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 19:57:35.


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

County: Hampshire

District: Winchester (District Authority)

Parish: Southwick and Widley

National Grid Reference: SU 63551 09181


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 and bailey in Place Wood, 680m WSW of Wanstead Farm, survives well despite some later disturbance by its use as a park keeper's lodge and ha ha, and can be expected to retain important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the original construction of the monument and its later use. It has previously been described by JP Williams-Freeman as a `perfect ... specimen of its kind' and forms part of a group of three or four well-preserved mottes and ringworks associated with the royal forest of Bere during the 11th and 12th centuries.


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


The monument includes a ringwork and bailey of probable 11th or 12th century date, situated on a slight, south west facing spur within Place Wood, near Southwick. The ringwork includes a roughly circular earthwork platform, 22m in diameter and approximately 0.8m high, fully enclosed by a defensive bank and outer ditch, each 6m to 8m wide. The larger bailey abuts it to the east and is also enclosed by a bank and outer ditch which project from the ringwork defences. Originally stirrup shaped, the bailey has been cut by a modern ha ha and park boundary ditch, and now survives as a straight sided pentagonal platform, approximately 55m by 65m in diameter and raised a similar height to the ringwork. The defences are relatively uniform around the perimeter of both enclosures, although the bank stands slightly higher around the ringwork, up to 1.5m above the interior and 3m above the base of the ditch. There is no apparent trace of any original internal features within either part of the monument, or of an entrance or gateway, although a later trackway enters the ringwork from the east and crosses onto the bailey over a low causeway where an original bridge would normally be expected. This trackway may be associated with a modern park keeper's lodge which is now demolished but formerly stood at the western end of the monument, partly overlying the bailey defences and resulting in their partial destruction. The octagonal brick foundations of the lodge survive along with a number of associated structural and garden features, including a brick well. The area of bailey defences beyond the ha ha and boundary ditch to the south has been destroyed by the modern construction of a military rifle range and is not included in the scheduling. This area is also the location of an earlier Roman mansio, the north eastern bank of which formerly intersected with the bailey but is now also destroyed. The construction of the monument has not been accurately dated, but its form is typical of post-Conquest ringworks and motte and bailey castles of the 11th and 12th centuries, and closely resembles the nearby ringwork and bailey at Motley's Copse, which is thought to relate to Henry I's attempt to expel the Earl of Arundel in 1101. At that time, Place Wood may have fallen within the boundaries of the manor of Belney in Portsdown Hundred which was held by the Mauduits, who also controlled Portchester Castle and the southern fringes of the royal forest of Bere until the mid-12th century.

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


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

Legacy System number: 32552

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 410
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 337,410
Hughes, M F, 'Landscape Hist' in Hampshire Castles and the Landscape 1066-1216, , Vol. 11, (1989), 42
Soffe, G, Johnston, D, 'Rescue Archaeology in Hampshire' in Route 421 And Other Roman Roads In South Hampshire, , Vol. 2, (1974), 107

End of official listing