Ringwork in Dallam Park 380m south east of Dallam Tower


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Ringwork in Dallam Park 380m south east of Dallam Tower
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Lakeland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 49361 80817

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 on Castle Hill in Dallam Park 380m south east of Dallam Tower is a rare example of this class of monument in north west England and despite the absence of an obvious defensive ditch it survives reasonably well. It is considered to be the forerunner of the nearby Dallam Tower, a 14th century stronghold, and as such attests to the military importance of this area during the later medieval period.


The monument includes a medieval ringwork located in Dallam Park on a prominent hilltop known as Castle Hill 380m south east of Dallam Tower. It is strategically situated to overlook the lowest bridging point of the River Bela and the village of Milnthorpe. Although no documentary evidence exists relating to the construction of the ringwork it is thought to be a precursor to the 14th century Dallam Tower.

The ringwork includes a sub-circular earth and stone mound measuring up to 42m east-west by 35m north-south. It has a flat top which has been created by raising the mound above the surrounding landscape only slightly on the north side but between 2m and 4m elsewhere. The top of the mound measures 27m by 22m and it contains an earth and stone bank up to 0.35m high around its eastern, southern and western edges. The monument lies within land on the Parks and Gardens Register where it is known as Dallam Tower, GD1655.

All posts and fencing surrounding young trees 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. 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
Curwen, J F, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Extra Ser.' in Castles and Towers of Cumb, West and Lancs N of the Sands, , Vol. XIII, (1913), 273
Oxford Archaeology North, , 'Oxford Archaeology North' in Fallen Tree, Dallam Tower Estate Cumbria, (2003), 1-7
AM7, Charlesworth, D, Earthwork in Dallam Park, (1971)
Parks and Gardens Register, Dallam Tower,
SMR No. 2492, Cumbria SMR, Earthwork in Dallam Park, Beetham, (1986)


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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