Castle Ditches: an enclosed settlement on Bedstone Hill


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


Ordnance survey map of Castle Ditches: an enclosed settlement on Bedstone Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2020 at 11:28:44.


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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 35361 75948

Reasons for Designation

During the Iron Age and Roman period a variety of settlement types were constructed throughout Britain. Small enclosed settlements consist of discrete areas of occupation, bounded largely or wholly by continuous single or concentric ditches, banks or walls, and palisades. The size of these curvilinear or rectilinear enclosures is generally less than 2ha. They were occupied by a small community, perhaps a single family or several related family groups. In their original form the enclosures contained a single main domestic building, or several clusters of domestic buildings. These structures are normally circular and are often associated with rectangular buildings used for the storage of agricultural produce. Small enclosed settlements became common features in the landscape during the second half of the first millennium BC and throughout the Roman period. They were the dwelling places of people engaged in small-scale farming and craft production. Considerable numbers of small enclosed settlements are known, but most have been levelled by ploughing. All small enclosed settlements where earthwork or standing structural remains survive are considered to be of national importance.

The small enclosed settlement known as Castle Ditches is a good example of this class of monument. The survival of internal building platforms as earthworks indicates that the buried remains of structures and associated deposits will survive well. These deposits will contain organic remains and a range of contemporary artefacts, which will provide valuable insights into the activities and lifestyles of the inhabitants. The earthworks forming the enclosure will retain evidence about the nature of their construction. In addition, organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the banks and within the ditch will provide important information about the local environment and the use of the surrounding land before the enclosure was built and during its occupation.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a small enclosed settlement, known as Castle Ditches, which is either Iron Age or Romano- British in origin. It is situated on gently sloping ground on top of a ridge which forms part of Bedstone Hill. From this location there are views of the neighbouring hills, and the Clun and Teme river valleys to south east.

The settlement takes the form of a quadrangular enclosure. Its overall dimensions are approximately 80m north-south by 118m east-west, and its internal area is about 0.4ha. The earthworks which define the interior of the settlement have been partially modified by ploughing in the mid-20th century, and the north eastern corner has been truncated by a road. Along the western, northern and eastern sides there is an inner bank, approximately 7m wide and 0.5m high, bounded by an external ditch also about 7m wide, visible as a shallow depression. On the northern and eastern sides the ditch is defined by an outer bank, about 7m wide and 0.5m in height. Along the southern side of the enclosure there are no visible indications of an inner bank. Here, the ditch has been cut into the slope and its northern face is marked by a pronounced scarp between 1.2m and 1.8m high. Material excavated from the ditch has been used to form an outer (counterscarp) bank, about 7m wide. The eastern half of this bank stands to a height of 0.5m, but to the west it has been partially levelled by ploughing. The entrance to the settlement is on the eastern side. Here, the ends of the inner bank turn inward to form an entrance passage about 5m wide. Within the interior of the enclosure are a number of well-defined platforms cut into the sloping ground, which provided level areas for the construction of buildings.

The modern road surface is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Jones, DE, (2002)


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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