Ringwork 540m north of Lane Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Ringwork 540m north of Lane Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Alberbury with Cardeston
National Grid Reference:
SJ 32415 12030

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.

Despite modification to the defensive circuit, the ringwork 540m north of Lane Farm is a good example of this class of monument. In Shropshire, ringworks are comparatively rare in relation to other types of contemporary early medieval castles incorporating a conical mound, known as a motte, such as those at Wollaston and Bretchel. The form of the ringwork north of Lane Farm is unusual in that the interior has been raised above the level of the surrounding land. Within the interior the remains of the structures will survive as buried features, which together with the associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide valuable evidence about the activities and life styles of those who inhabited the ringwork. In addition, organic remains preserved in the buried ground surfaces beneath the raised interior and under the external bank, and deposited within the ditches, will provide information about the local environment and the use of the land prior to and following the construction of the ringwork.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork occupying a slightly elevated position in an area of gently undulating and formerly marshy land. It is one of a number of early medieval castle sites in this area which controlled the movement of people along the valley between the Breidden hills and Long Mountain. The closest of these castles survive at Wollaston and Bretchel, at a distance of 500m and 1.25km respectively. Both of these castles are the subject of separate schedulings. The ringwork north of Lane Farm is a D-shaped enclosure where the internal area has been raised above the level of the surrounding land to form a flat-topped mound, measuring approximately 43m by 58m across the top and 50m by 68m at its base. For the most part the mound stands about 1m high, but to the east, where there is a natural depression, its height increases to 1.8m. The mound was surmounted by a bank around its outer edge. This bank is no longer visible as an upstanding earthwork as it has been levelled by successive phases of ploughing since the 19th century. Evidence for it will, however, survive as a buried feature. The mound is defined by a ditch about 4m wide on its western side and up to 10m wide on its eastern side. An outer bank, about 6m wide, on the western and northern western sides provided an additional line of defence. The ditch has mainly been infilled during the cultivation of the area and the external bank has also been spread and reduced in height by ploughing. The remains of these defences will survive as buried features.

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.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume I, (1908), 382
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, CPAT 83/ 22,27,28; 83/C/ 341,342,343,494,495, (1983)


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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