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Green Castle ringwork 320m south west of Humbleton Mill

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: Green Castle ringwork 320m south west of Humbleton Mill

List entry Number: 1019926


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


District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Akeld


District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Wooler

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Aug-1935

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Aug-2001

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 34226

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.

Green Castle ringwork 320m south west of Humbleton Mill is well-preserved and a good example of its type. It will contain occupation debris and evidence relating to its use as a stronghold which will enhance our understanding of fortifications from this period. In addition, the structure of the ringwork will reveal details of the manner of its construction. As a rare monument type in Northumberland it will contribute to the study of fortifications in this period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a ringwork of medieval date, known as Green Castle, situated on a high promontory above the Humbleton Burn and overlooking the town of Wooler. The ringwork has been constructed in order to utilize the steep natural defences on the north east and south east sides of the promontory. The remaining sides have been modified to create a steep sided mound, and a line of retaining stones is visible across the south west slope where erosion has occurred. In addition, a ditch with a maximum width of 5m and a slight counterscarp bank have been dug around the south, west and north sides further enhancing the defences. The ringwork is D-shaped in plan and measures approximately 50m north east to south west by 46m north west to south east internally. A bank, up to 0.7m high, has been constructed around the top of the mound on all sides except the north east, which drops sharply to the Humbleton Burn. Both the internal and external facing stones of this bank are visible. The interior of the ringwork is concave, although the ground level is considerably higher than outside the enclosure wall. The interior is subdivided by a north-south bank which stands up to 0.2m high. Aerial photographs indicate a second subdivision inside the ringwork, but this is difficult to trace on the ground. The concrete casing, access chamber and flap of a water pipeline which runs across the south west part of the ringwork are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Northumberland, (1992), 635
NT 92 NE 59,
SF/3035/151, Gates, T, NT/9827/E Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne, (1986)

National Grid Reference: NT 98180 27853


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This copy shows the entry on 24-Sep-2018 at 01:01:29.

End of official listing