Queen Eleanor's Bower: a ringwork, 710m north east of Bridge Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Queen Eleanor's Bower: a ringwork, 710m north east of Bridge Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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:
SJ 53670 13632

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 known as Queen Eleanor's Bower is a good example of this class of monument. The remains of buildings will survive as well as buried features, which together with the associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide evidence about the lifestyles and activities of those who occupied the site. Organic remains preserved in the buried ground surface beneath the bank will provide information about the local environment and land use prior to the construction of the ringwork.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork known as Queen Eleanor's Bower, situated on a knoll near the base of the south western side of Haughmond Hill. From this location there are extensive views of the Severn valley, including the medieval urban centre of Shrewsbury to the south west. The ringwork is overlooked by a rocky shelf to the south east, separated from the knoll by a steep-sided gully. It is not known where its name, Queen Eleanor's Bower, originated. A slight univallate hillfort, 100m to the north, on the summit of Haughmond Hill, is the subject of a separate scheduling.

The knoll, which forms the base of the ringwork, appears to have been artifically steepened in order to create a conical shaped mound. Across the base it measures approximately 82m north west-south east by 92m north-south. In relation to the sloping ground which surrounds it, the height of the ringwork steadily increases from the north east to the south west. On the south eastern side it stands about 7.5m high. The top of the ringwork is triangular in shape and measures approximately 38m by 40m, and around the edge is a stony bank 4.5m wide and up to 0.7m high internally.

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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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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