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HER Number (PRN):01045
Name:Castle Ring Hillfort, Gorsty Bank
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1021278: Castle Ring

Monument Type(s):


Scheduled Monument: A good example of a nationally rare type of large Iron Age hillfort, with a single rampart.

Parish:Worthen with Shelve, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ30SW
Grid Reference:SJ 314 005

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA1115 - 1963 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA1116 - 1971 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA1117 - 1981 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA1118 - 1987 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA6904 - 2011-12 DBA and walkover survey of hillforts in Shropshire by Shropshire Council and Herefordshire Council
  • ESA4714 - Marches Uplands Mapping Project 1993-1994 by RCHME
  • ESA4785 - 1992-2000 Summary Condition Survey of SAMs in the Shropshire Hills Environmentally Sensitive Area by English Heritage


Castle Ring is a small oval hill-fort of about two acres. When visited by Chitty and Rev E P Comber in September 1947, it was bracken covered. It appeared to have an entrance at the north-east end and triple defences at the south-west corner. <1a>

A contour hill fort. The defences consist of a single bank mostly destroyed, but rising to 2.2m high in the east, set along the top of a scarped slope. There is an inturned entrance in the north-east, but the "triple defences" at the south-west corner are purely fortuitous.
Published survey (25") revised. <1b>

Castle Ring, name confirmed is a small Iron Age fort occupying the end of a steep sided, SW facing spur. It comprises a single storey rampart, very much reduced and in parts destroyed, enclosing the ridge top above a scarped slope. No ditch is visible but vague traces of terracing here and there possibly represent the vestigial remains of one. The rampart at the SW end has been dug into (possible wartime activity) and it is possibly this which has given rise to Miss Chitty's suggestion that the defences were tripled at this point. The single entrance occurs at the NE end and here the rampart rises to 22m in height internally. It shows some evidence of inturning but the form is confused, with a marked difference between the N side of the entrance and the S side, and no ditch to either, only terracing. There seems no evidence of slighting and it is possible the entrance area represents incomplete refurbishing. <1c>

A univallate hillfort sited on a knoll 359m OD. Steep slopes particularly to west and south; the ground to the north is almost level/ undulating. A contour hillfort roughly oval in shape, the defences are for the most part represented by a break in slope. To the north east, adjacent to the in-turned entrance, the bank rises to about 3m above the interior. The interior is almost level along the long axis, dropping to the rampart line on either side. No obvious internal features visible. Outside the entrance is a platform, upon which is a heap of stone which appears to be a modern field clearance cairn. A Tyler FI 1981 <5>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 11 Slight univallate hillforts <11>

Scheduling revised in 2004. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a large univallate hillfort known as Castle Ring. It is situated on the summit of a hill at the southern side of the Rea Brook valley. From this commanding position there are extensive views in every direction. ->

-> The hillfort is roughly oval in plan. Its overall dimensions are approximately 115m north west-south east by 185m south west-north east, and the defensive circuit defines an area of about 1ha. The earthwork defences of the hillfort originally consisted of a single rampart, constructed of earth and stone, bounded by an external ditch. The outer face of this rampart survives as a steep scarp, mostly between 4m and 6m high, which for much of its length closely follows the contours of the hill. The top of the rampart is now mostly level with the interior, but in places stands up to 0.4m high. The ditch, which has been largely infilled, is discernible as a terrace between 3m and 8m wide. It survives well as a buried feature. The entrance into the hillfort is at the north eastern end where the defences face level and gently undulating ground. ->

-> At a later date the defences close to the hillfort entrance were modified in order to make this part of the circuit more elaborate and imposing. This involved the construction of a new length of rampart and an adjacent bank within the interior of the fort, both of which partially overlie the existing rampart. The ends of the new rampart and the bank turn inwards to define an entrance corridor about 4m wide. The rampart has steep faces internally and externally and stands to a height of 2.2m, while the adjacent bank reaches a maximum height of 0.7m. ->

-> Slight undulations within the interior of the hillfort are considered to mark the positions of building platforms on which houses and ancillary structures were built. ->

-> A sheep cote and all fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.<12>

Photographed during aerial photographic survey in 2007-2008. <13><14>

Mapped by the Marches Upland Mapping Project (MUMP), carried out by RCHME in 1993-1994. Described as a definite hillfort of Iron Age date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from large-scale excavation. The site appears as a complete, polygonal enclosure, 170m x 85m, defined by 1 bank with 5 sides visible, and is located at SJ 3146 0058. EH Author: FJS Date: 06/05/94. MAL 32.70/107-110 24-MAY-1970; NMR SJ 3100/4 23-NOV-1983. <15>

Castle Ring (SJ 3146 0058; MU 113.12.1), although identified as a hillfort, is typical of many Iron Age and Prehistoric enclosures. The small uni-vallate rectilinear enclosure, 170m x 85m, has an entrance to the NE. It is located on a hilltop and apparently associated with a field system. <16>

Feature evident on LiDAR data collected and processed during the Stiperstones and Corndon LPS "Open Hills, Old Ways & Commons" project, in 2014. A small square feature at SJ 3148 0057 may represent a building platform, as alluded to in <12>. <17>

This site was visited during a survey of major later prehistoric enclosures in the region, in 2011-2012. It is possible that the levelling of the rampart around much of the circuit is the result of robbing in the post-medieval period to create the network of hedge banks in the vicinity. A probable clearance cairn is present on a platform outside the NE entrance, which appears to comprise of material derived from the ramparts. Although modern in date, some of stone shows evidence of being heat affected perhaps providing evidence for burning of the rampart. <18>

Visited during a condition survey by the English Heritage Field Monument Warden, in 1999. Condition recorded as fair. <19>


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01045.
[01b]SSA31554 - Site visit report: Ordnance Survey Field Investigator. Various. NRHE: Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments. F1 MHB 08-MAR-71.
[01c]SSA31554 - Site visit report: Ordnance Survey Field Investigator. Various. NRHE: Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments. F2 CFW 13-DEC-79.
[01]SSA3825 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ30SW4. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ30SW4.
[01a]SSA403 - Article in serial: Chitty Lily F. 1961/ 1967. Article in the Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club. Trans Caradoc Severn Valley Fld Club. Vol 16. p84.
[02]SSA16980 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1983-Nov-23. CPAT 83/C/0580 to 0582 (3 photos). Colour. 35mm.
[03]SSA16981 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1983-Nov-23. CPAT 83/25/0001 to 0004 (4 photos).
[04]SSA3827 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1987-Jun-15. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 32540 (15/06/1987).
[05]SSA3828 - Field recording form: Tyler Alan W. 1981. Site Visit Form. SMR site visit form.
[06]SSA16982 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1987-Dec-13. CPAT 87/MB/1271 to 1273 (3 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[07]SSA16983 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1983-Nov-23. CPAT 83/C/0580. Colour. 35mm.
[08]SSA16984 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1992-May-03. CPAT 92/C/0694. Colour. 35mm.
[09]SSA3826 - Scheduled Monument notification: Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. 1964. Map of Scheduled area, 1964.
[10]SSA12850 - Photograph: Tyler Alan W. 1981-Mar/Apr. Castle Ring, Worthen. Black and white. 35mm.
[11]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[12]SSA22037 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 2004. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 22/06/2004). 34946.
[13]SSA25013 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Sep-7. SA0708_145 to SA0708_148 (4 photos) Flight: 07_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[14]SSA25297 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2008-Nov-25. SA0812_039 to SA0812_042 (4 photos) Flight: 08_SA-12. Colour. Digital.
[15]SSA22521 - Database file: National Monuments Record (NMR). 1993/ 1994. Marches Uplands Mapping Project (MUMP) MORPH records (2006 version). Marches Uplands Survey. MU.113.12 Unit 1.
[16]SSA24033 - Field survey report: Stoertz C. 2004. The Marches Uplands Mapping Project: a report for the National Mapping Programme. English Heritage Rep. AER/1/2004. p.29.
[17]SSA27397 - Geospatial data: Environment Agency. 2014. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) Hillshade Model (Stiperstones and Corndon LPS). Stiperstones and Corndon LPS.
[18]SSA24361 - Archaeological fieldwork report: Dorling P & Wigley A. 2012. Assessment of the archaeological and conservation status of major later prehistoric enclosures in Herefordshire and Shropshire. p.188.
[19]SSA20802 - Field survey report: Leigh Judith. 2001. Scheduled Ancient Monuments in the Shropshire Hills ESA: Brief Condition Survey.
Date Last Edited:Nov 22 2021 3:42PM