Robury Ring: a small enclosed settlement on Wentnor Prolley Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Robury Ring: a small enclosed settlement on Wentnor Prolley Moor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 39793 93214

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 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.

Despite the effects of ploughing, the construction of farm buildings and creation of yard surfaces, the small enclosed settlement known as Robury Ring is a good example of this class of monument. As the archaeological excavation and watching briefs have demonstrated, the earthworks forming the enclosure retain information about their construction and modification. In addition, organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the banks and within the ditches will provide information about the local environment and the use of the surrounding land before the enclosure was built and during its occupation. Within the interior the buried remains of structures and associated deposits containing artefacts and organic remains are expected to survive well and will provide information about various aspects of life in the Iron Age and Roman period in this part of Shropshire.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a small enclosed settlement known as Robury Ring, which is either Iron Age or Romano-British in origin, and situated on gently sloping ground on Wentnor Prolley Moor. The moor is overshadowed by the Long Mynd, which lies immediately to the east. From Robury Ring there are extensive views over the lower ground to the south west and the neighbouring hills to the north and west.

The settlement takes the form of an oval enclosure. Its overall dimensions are approximately 95m north-south by 105m south west-north east, and its internal area is about 0.2ha. The earthworks which define the interior consist of two concentric banks both with external ditches, and a short bank flanking the outer ditch in the north western quadrant. In the mid-19th century the cultivation of Wentnor Prolley Moor led to a reduction in height of these banks and the partial infilling of the ditches. Despite this, much of the earthwork circuit remained discernible and was surveyed by the Ordnance Survey in 1883. By this time a small farmhouse had been built in the south western quadrant, over part of the enclosing earthworks. The farm has continued to grow, and now much of the area of the enclosed settlement is occupied by farm buildings and yard surfaces. Portions of the earthworks remain extant to the south and to the north west. The inner and outer banks around the southern part of the site both stand up to 0.8m high. In the north western quadrant the main outer bank stands up to a height of 1.2m, its outer face having been cut by a modern drainage channel. The short external bank in this quadrant also stands to a height of 0.8m.

In 1990 a small-scale archaeological excavation was undertaken in advance of an extension to the farmhouse. This investigation revealed a clay deposit, 0.3m thick, which is believed to be the base of the inner bank. A clay deposit, 1.15m thick, also thought to be part of the inner bank, was recorded in 1977 when a hole was dug for electricity poles within the northern part of the enclosure. During the 1990 investigation two features, possibly associated with the clay bank, were also discovered: a small curvilinear feature and a post hole. During this excavation sherds of pottery were found, probably from an earlier prehistoric (Bronze Age) cremation urn, together with several flint flakes (the byproducts from the manufacture of flint tools). These artefacts suggest an earlier use of the site prior to the construction of the enclosed settlement.

In 2001 an archaeological watching brief was carried out prior to the construction of a barn in the south eastern quadrant. In several of the holes dug for the barn footings a layer of organic sandy silt was found and is believed to be the fill of the inner ditch. From this watching brief it is apparent that the ditch here is at least 5m wide and over 0.6m deep.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling. These are: Robury Ring farmhouse and associated agricultural buildings, all concrete and paved surfaces, all fence and gate posts, modern walls, electricity poles, water troughs, oil and diesel tanks and the concrete blocks on which they stand, all fixed ornamental garden features, and a cast iron water pump; however, the ground beneath all these features 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.

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Books and journals
Hannaford, H, 'Shropshire County Council Archaeology Service Report' in A Watching Brief at Robury Ring, , Vol. 202, (2001)
Burrow, I, Wentnor, Salop: Robury Ring, 1977, Unpublished note in SMR
Hughes, E G and Jones, L, Archaeological Field Survey And Excavation At Robury Ring 1989-90, (1990)
Title: County Series Map: Shropshire 55.11 Source Date: 1883 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Woodward, A B, Finds Report In An Archaol Field Survey and Excav at Robury Ring, 1990,


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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