Ringwork on Cam's Hill, 500m north east of Lawn Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021288

Date first listed: 11-Jun-1992

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Dec-2003


Ordnance survey map of Ringwork on Cam's Hill, 500m north east of Lawn Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 18:41:44.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Paul Malmesbury Without

National Grid Reference: ST 94050 85787


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.

The ringwork on Cam's Hill is a particularly fine example of this type of comparatively rare medieval earthwork. It survives in excellent condition and offers considerable potential for the survival of primary archaeological deposits and of environmental material. The strategic significance of the site and its relationship to other contemporary monuments within the vicinity, offers considerable scope for the study and interpretation of the medieval settlement pattern and social organisation in this area of the landscape.


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


The monument includes a ringwork on Cam's Hill, set in a good strategic position on the westerly crest of a north-south spur. This siting would seem to have been designed to overlook the valley of the River Avon, believed to have been an important routeway during the medieval period. The earthwork remains comprise a strong circular enclosure bank, up to 18m wide at base and averaging 1.8m high. This is surrounded by a substantial ditch averaging 4m wide and 1.5m deep, giving a total diameter for the site of some 50m. The ditch survives as an earthwork around the south and east sides only, but is also believed to exist as a buried feature around the north and west also.

The central area enclosed within the defences is characteristically small, having a diameter of only 20m, an area of some 0.03ha. This interior is raised slightly above the surrounding natural ground level to a height of some 0.5m. The internal scarp of the enclosing bank is lowered approximately midway along the south east quarter, representing the position of the original entrance. There are no traces of any structures in the interior of the enclosure.

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: 19038

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing