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Historic England Research Records

Studford Ring

Hob Uid: 56760
Location :
North Yorkshire
Ryedale
Ampleforth
Grid Ref : SE5812079860
Summary : Small earthwork enclosure consisting of an inner ditch and outer bank with a single east-facing entrance. Possibly a hengiform monument or Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age stock enclosure. The freshness of the earthworks indicate it has been restored in the Medieval period, probably as a horse coraal as suggested by the name Studfold. Scheduled.
More information : (SE 5812 7986) Studford Ring (OE). (1)

Studford or Stotfold: horse enclosure (2b). Eastmead (2a) was of the opinion that the ring was made in 1322 during the Scottish raids and he gives its dimensions as: agger 9ft from bottom of fosse. Diameter E-W, 54 yards. (2)

Situated on a high level plateau with full all-round visibility about 250.0m above sea level, Studfold Ring consists of a flat platform approx 1.25 acres in extent with a maximum diameter of 56.0m, surrounded by a strong ditch and outer bank both of sharp profile; some stone revetment within the bank is evident. The enclosed area has a single simple causewayed entrance 5.0m wide facing east. In plan the work is basically square with rounded corners and one slightly curving side. An outer embankment (see SE 57 NE26) has been ploughed out and its relationship to the main work could not be established. There is no surface evidence of internal occupation and no finds were made at the time of investigation. All local tree growth is young. The earthwork is now under permanent pasture but is surrounded by plough which extends to the outer boundary of the perimeter bank.

The Ring has similarities in size, plan and construction to LBA/EIA pastoral enclosures noted by Cunliffe, although the parallels are all on chalk whereas Studfold Ring is on clay with a grit sub-strata. Similarly, Cunliffe refers to adjacent "ranch boundaries, cross-ridge dykes and spur-dykes"; and in proximity to Studfold is a linear work of impressive dimensions (Double Dykes SE 58 SE 20). Barrows formerly to the immediate north, were excavated and demolished in recent years (see SE 57 NE 7) and given a radio-carbon dating of 7th century BC.

H Ramm (RCHM) has traced the history of the name from 1824; Studfold (or Studforth) seems to have been in general use from
the early 19th century to the present day. Local enquiries revealed Studfold as still being in current use. The many similarities between this site and those referred to by Cunliffe suggests a similar date and purpose. However, the name implies a horse-fold (wherein the mares with colts/fillies were 'falded') suggesting, perhaps, an original LBA/EIA pastoral stock enclosure, later-restored and again used for corralling, a purpose from which the published name stemmed. The sharp angle of the bank and the hard profile of the ditch also suggests restoration (probably Medieval), for the work in its present form is certainly not prehistoric.

Resurveyed on 1:2500 MSD by Air/Ground. (3)

Listed by Challis and Harding as a quadrangular earthwork 165 ft. across with ditch and outer rampart (Iron Age). (4)

SE 582799. Studfold Ring scheduled under Camps and Settlements. (5)

Studford Ring. Consists of an outer bank and inner ditch with single entrance on east side. This gives access to a level interior of approximately 1.25 acres. The sharp profile of the outworks has led to the suggestion that it may have been refurbished in the historic period. No positive evidence of date.

Studfold Ring is roughly quadrangular some 54 yards across, rampart to rampart, with internal ditch 12ft wide and in places still 4ft in depth. The only parallels in north-east Yorkshire are Great Ayton Moor which has yielded Iron Age 'B' sherds and near Borrowby on Newton Mulgrave Moor. "Holes have been dug by various people in Studfold Ring but no one has produced ... evidence of its date and purpose". (6-6a)

The following feature was mapped from good quality air photographs:-

Probable Medieval or later enclosure, seen as an earthwork.
Morphological description: a rectangular enclosure, 60m by 60m, defined by 1 ditch and 1 bank, with 1 entrance to the E.
Centred at:-SE 5812 7985
(Morph No. HH.29.2.1)

This description is based on data from the RCHME MORPH2 database.
This is the same feature recorded by Authorities 1-6. (7)

SE 582 799. Studford Ring. Scheduled No. NY/45. (8)

Studford Ring - name confirmed by OS Field Reviser. (9)

The monument was visited at the request of the local Inspector of Ancient Monuments in connection with the unauthorised removal by a new landowner of part of the fence that surrounds it. Some slight damage is evident, particularly close to the north-east corner where the base of the outer bank has been clipped by the plough, but no finds to help date the earthwork were seen in the ploughsoil.

Otherwise the monument is much as described by authority 3. The presence of an internal ditch is reminiscent of a small henge or hengiform monument, but the earthworks look too fresh to date solely from the neolithic. It is therefore more likely to be a henge or some other form of later prehistoric monument (stock coraal?) reused and redefined in later periods as suggested. Alternatively the whole monument could simply be a medieval stock coraal as suggested by the name (Studfold), although the bank and ditch seem too massive to have been constructed solely for that purpose. Some stone is evident in the make-up of the bank where exposed in animal scrapes, but nothing that resembles a revetment. A small quarry or other digging is apparent in the south-east corner.

A plan and short report have been made of the existing fence in relation to the edge of the monument as the basis for determining the position of a replacement. See appropriate EH Registry file for more information. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" Prov Edn 1910/1950
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Source Number : 2
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6" (R H Hayes 1955)
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Source Number : 6a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hayes R H. 1963. A History of Helmsley Rievaulx and District 44,66 (Ed. J McDonnell)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ann Carter/27-SEP-1993/RCHME: Howardian Hills Project
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage, SAM List, North Yorkshire, March 1994, p 32
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : OS Small Scales Reviser Oct 1996
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Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Marcus Jecock/16-FEB-2012/
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Historia Rievallensis 1823 (Eastmead)
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Source Number : 2b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Eilert Ekwall - English Place Names 1935
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 FDC 27-APR-77
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Source Number : 3a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : IA Communities in Britain (Cunliffe)
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Source Number : 3b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Letter H Ramm - E C Waight
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : BAR 20 pt 2 Later Prehist from Trent-Tyne 1975 48 (AJ Challis & DW Harding)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 1978 58
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Richard Mead/06-FEB-1995/RCHME/NYCC:Howardian Hills Project
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Later Prehistoric
Display Date : Later Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Stock Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 45
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1038
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : MORPH2
External Cross Reference Number : HH.29.2
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 57 NE 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 927088
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, STUDFOLD RING
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1800-01-01
End Date : 1899-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 57 NE 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1977-04-27
End Date : 1977-04-27
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME/NYCC: HOWARDIAN HILLS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-04-01
End Date : 1994-01-01