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HER Number (PRN):01627
Name:Whitsburn Hill Ringwork
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1020151: Ringwork on Whitsburn Hill

Monument Type(s):


Scheduled Monument: A small early medieval fortification (one of the smallest of its type known in Shropshire), probably the site of a watchtower.

Parish:Worthen with Shelve, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ30SW
Grid Reference:SJ 3289 0294

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA2168 - 1971 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA2169 - 1977 field observation by Shropshire County Council


A circular earthwork discovered during OS field investigation. The work measures 37m overall and comprises a low bank surrounded by a ditch 10m wide and 1.2m deep. A break in the bank in the NE is possibly original. The work is situated on a NW facing slope above a spring: there is evidence of a field system in the surrounding arable. In most respects it is similar to the series of ringworks covering what is termed the Breidden Gap. OS FI 1971 <1>

On NW facing slope. Slight counterscarp on the N with a slight break on the N. General good condition and as described by the OS. Some damage by sheep. The site is extremely small and its function obscure. The hill-slope location might suggest a pre-medieval date. I Burrow FI 1977 <3>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, High score as one of 20 Ringworks <5>

Scheduled in 2001. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork, situated on a gentle north west facing slope on the northern flank of Whitsburn Hill. From this location there is a commanding view of the whole Rea Brook valley. The ringwork is broadly contemporary with other medieval fortifications in the vicinity including the mottes near Village Farm and Lady House Farm, which are the subject of separate schedulings. ->

-> The ringwork is an oval-shaped enclosure, measuring approximately 32m north to south by 36m east to west. The external ditch is between 5m and 8m wide. The portion to the south is about lm deep and is waterlogged, while the northern and eastern portions survive as a buried feature as they have been largely infilled. Material excavated from the ditch has been used to raise the northern half of the interior above the level of the surrounding land in order to create a level building platform, that stands up to 1.9m high and probably supported a watchtower. Spoil from this operation has also been used to create a low bank, 4m wide, around the top of the internal platform. It defines a circular area about 11m in diameter. The north western part of the bank has been subsequently reduced in height. ->

-> All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. ->

-> Despite some modification to the defences, the ringwork is a good example of a nationally rare type of monument. It is one of the smallest ringworks known in Shropshire and its principal purpose appears to have been to support a watchtower <6>

Mapped by the Marches Uplands Mapping Project in 1993. The earthwork remains of a small ringwork described by the previous authorities and seen centred at SJ 3289 0294 was mapped from aerial photographs. The site appeared as an circular mound with a diameter of approximately 30m situated on a NW facing slope of Whitsburn Hill. NMR SJ 3202/1 03-JAN-1986; NMR SJ 3202/2 03-JAN-1986. <7><8>

Photographed during aerial photographic survey in 2009. <9>

Earthwork visible on LiDAR data collected and processed during the Stiperstones and Corndon LPS "Open Hills, Old Ways & Commons" project, in 2014. <10>


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01627.
[01a]SSA17597 - Vertical aerial photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. Vertical View, 1970.
[01b]SSA31554 - Site visit report: Ordnance Survey Field Investigator. Various. NRHE: Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments. F1 MHB 27-JUL-71.
[01]SSA5934 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1971. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ30SW13 . Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ30SW13 .
[02]SSA17598 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1986-Jan-03. CPAT 86/02/0013 to 0014 (2 photos).
[03]SSA5936 - Site visit report: Burrow Ian. 1977. Visit Notes, 1977.
[04]SSA5935 - Photograph: Burrow Ian. 1977/ 1978. Whitsburn Hill Enclosure. Black and white. 35mm.
[05]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[06]SSA20692 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 2001. Scheduling Papers (New Scheduling, 18/09/2001). 34902.
[07]SSA22447 - Database file: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME). 1993/ 1994. Marches Uplands Mapping Project (MUMP) MORPH records (1997 version). Marches Uplands Survey. 111/2/1.
[08]SSA22521 - Database file: National Monuments Record (NMR). 1993/ 1994. Marches Uplands Mapping Project (MUMP) MORPH records (2006 version). Marches Uplands Survey. MU.111.2 Unit 1.
[09]SSA25931 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Mar-19. SA0905_10 to SA0905_15 (6 photos) Flight: 09_SA_05. Colour. Digital.
[10]SSA27397 - Geospatial data: Environment Agency. 2014. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) Hillshade Model (Stiperstones and Corndon LPS). Stiperstones and Corndon LPS.
Date Last Edited:Nov 10 2021 4:06PM