Ringwork and bailey castle 390m west of Buntingsdale Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Ringwork and bailey castle 390m west of Buntingsdale Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Sep-2019 at 14:36:30.


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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Moreton Say
National Grid Reference:
SJ 65092 32536

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 castle 390m west of Buntingsdale Hall is a well- preserved example of this class of monument. In Shropshire, ringworks are comparatively rare in relation to other contemporary types of early Norman castle incorporating a mound, or motte, on which buildings were constructed. This castle is also unusual in that the associated bailey survives. Extensive remains of the structures that stood within the ringwork and the bailey are expected to survive as buried features which, together with associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide valuable evidence about the activities and the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the castle. Organic remains surviving within the buried ground surfaces under the raised interior of the ringwork, and beneath the ramparts and within the ditches, will provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land before and after the castle was constructed.

The monument remains a prominent feature within the landscape.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork and bailey castle occupying an elevated position on a spur of land next to the steep north west valley side of the River Tern. From this commanding location there are extensive views of the land to the west and the Tern valley.

The ringwork is D-shaped, measuring approximately 30m by 34m internally, and is defined by two ramparts, which are separated by an entrance passage 6m wide to the west. The ringwork is defined on its north eastern side by the bluff created by the adjacent river. The rampart on the southern/south western side is considerably smaller than the one to the north west. It is about 8m wide and stands just less than 1m high, becoming slightly broader and higher at its eastern end. Its defensive strength is significantly enhanced by its position at the top of a steep slope, which has been deliberately accentuated. Down the slope to the south east of this rampart, earth has been deposited to form a level projecting lookout platform, measuring approximately 11m by 16m. The rampart defining the north western side of the ringwork is about 18m wide and stands to a height of 2.5m. It is bounded on its northern side by a broad ditch, up to 19m wide, which becomes narrower towards its southern end where it defines the northern side of the entranceway into the interior. To compensate for natural slope within the ringwork the eastern part of the interior has been raised in order to create a level building platform.

On the slight ridge to the north west of the ringwork, a bailey was constructed. Within this enclosure a range of ancillary structures are likely to have been built, including stores, stables and additional domestic accommodation. The north eastern side of the bailey, which is about 45m long, is marked by the bluff formed by the river, which has been partially steepened to increase its defensiveness. The defences constructed to define the north western and south western sides of the bailey are no longer visible at ground level, but will survive as buried features.

All fence and gate posts, and stiles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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.

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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.

End of official listing

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