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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 362997

Hob Uid: 362997
Location :
Bedford
Renhold
Grid Ref : TL1062951159
Summary : A probable Medieval ringwork, known as Howbury Ringwork is, is located at Water End Farm. Undated inhumations were found within the earthwork in the 19th century. It was formerly regarded as a Roman amphitheatre and a Danish signal station.
More information : (TL 1069 5129) Earthwork (NR) (1)

Howbury, earthwork at Water End Farm is a circular area 130 ft in diameter with 10 ft high ramparts and a wide wet ditch outside. It probably had one original entrance on the west but the old road to St Neots has mutilated it making a second one on the east (5). Early in the 19 century many bodies were found near the surface (2-3). This earthwork may have acted as a Danish signal-station or small out-post (5) possibly of Trelleborg type (4). (2-5)

Published 1:2500 revised. (6)

This earthwork occupies a spur and is as described by Fowler (auth 5). On balance it would be better classified as a medieval ringwork rather than a Danish work. (7)

TL 107512. Renhold Ring (earthwork) - scheduled. (Listed under 'Other secular sites'). (8)

In the early 19th century this was regarded as a Roman Amphitheatre. (TL 107512) Remains of an amphitheatre (NAT) (9)

The probable Medieval ringwork described above (Sources 1-6) was visible on lidar imagery and was mapped as part of the Bedford Borough NMP project. The ring work is a bank which encloses a roughly circular area about 60metres in diameter. The bank itself is between 8-13metres wide and has two roughly opposing gaps, just north of centre, which are likely to be later breaches in the bank possibly related to the Medieval droveway. Surrounding the bank is a wide ditch 8-20metres wide. The northern arc of the ditch is truncated by the modern road, the southern sections forms a small funnel and on the northeastern side forms a hollow way out of the ditch. Other linear banks, ditches and scoops were also visible to the west of the ringwork, and could be associated with the monument or may be later field boundaries associated with the Medieval to Post Medieval ridge and furrow and possible small scale quarrying activity. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Ass Ms 9408 Fol 108
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria History of the county Bedford : volume III
Source details :
Page(s) : 215
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Source Number : 4
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6" (C W Phillips 141-49)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Archaeology and the landscape : essays for L V Grinsell
Source details :
Page(s) : 231
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHS 29-SEP-71
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 JRL 09-MAY-75
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Source Number : 8
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 8
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Source Number : 9
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 2" Drawing 1815
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Amphitheatre
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Scandinavian
Monument End Date : 1016
Monument Start Date : 870
Monument Type : Signal Station, Ringwork
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Ringwork, Ridge And Furrow, Hollow Way, Field Boundary, Quarry
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Inhumation
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : BD 17
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20441
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1009627
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Bedfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 2806
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 15 SW 13
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 15 SW 13
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-09-29
End Date : 1971-09-29
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 15 SW 13
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1975-05-09
End Date : 1975-05-09
Associated Activities : Primary, BEDFORD BOROUGH NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2016-02-01
End Date : 2019-05-03