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HER Number (PRN):01084
Name:Ringwork and bailey castle 100m north east of Heath Farm
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1013485: Ringwork and bailey castle

Monument Types


Scheduled Monument: A good example of a medieval ringwork and bailey castle (a stronghold defended by a bank and ditch), which appears largely undisturbed.

Parish:Alberbury with Cardeston, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ31SE
Grid Reference:SJ 3793 1132

Related records

03609Related to: Amaston (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA1275 - 1934 field observation NE of Heath Farm, Alberbury with Cardeston
  • ESA1276 - 1972 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA1277 - 1979 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA1278 - 1983 field observation by English Heritage


Occupies a marshy site south of the lane, with a well defined bailey in the field opposite. It measures about 100 ft across, with a low bank and a scarp of 5-8ft. The bailey has no bank . Ringworks with baileys are not unusual, cf St Davids, Pembs, Dyfed <1a><1b>
Ringwork and bailey are separated by the ..road to Heath farm. The ringwork survives as a low platform with raised rim and depressed centre, the interior level of which is some 0.5m above ground level. It was surrounded by a ditch which only survives in a surveyable form on the SE side where it is 0.4m deep . At this point the rim is 1.7m high above the ditch bottom. There is a breach in the work on this side to form a modern entrance. Overall dimensions: 55m. The bailey lies to the NE with its junction with the ringwork destroyed by the farm road. No evidence of a rampart or ditch survives and its shows as a low platform some 45m across in each direction and 1.5m high. OS FI 1972 <1>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Low score as one of 46 Motte and Bailey castles; Medium score as one of 20 Ringworks. <9>

Scheduling revised in 1995. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the remains of a ringwork and bailey castle and a sample of the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow ploughing within an open field system. It is protected within two areas. The ringwork is situated in a marshy, valley bottom position and is believed to have been the centre of the manor of Amaston, held as part of the barony of Montgomery. The manor was held in the 13th century in return for providing two soldiers for 40 days in times of war. The ringwork includes a low roughly circular platform with an external diameter of 45m bounded by an external scarp 2m high. A bank averaging 0.6m high around the rim of the platform gives the interior of the site, which is 24m in diameter, a slightly dished appearance. Around the south eastern quarter of the site, the remains of a surrounding ditch are visible for approximately 22m as a slight depression 5m wide and 0.3m deep. To the north west of the ringwork and separated from it by a modern farm access road is a bailey in which the domestic buildings associated with the castle would have been protected. The bailey survives as a low, roughly sub-rectangular, platform with an internal area of 36m north west to south east by 40m transversely. It is bounded around the south west, west and north sides by a well defined scarp 1.5m high. The junction of the ringwork and bailey, at the south eastern side of the bailey, has been modified by the approach road to Heath Farm which now forms the south east side of the bailey enclosure. There is no visible trace of the ditch surrounding the extant sides of the bailey but it will survive as a buried feature with an estimated width of 4m. ->

-> Extending over a considerable area to the south and east of the ringwork and bailey are the well defined earthwork remains of the ridge and furrow ploughing of an open field system. This represents the field system belonging to the medieval hamlet of Amaston. In 1086 seven tenants were recorded in the hamlet but by 1379 this had fallen to only four. Amaston is believed to have remained a recognisable hamlet until its final desertion in the 1690s. A sample of the ridge and furrow adjacent to the ringwork is included within the scheduling to preserve the stratigraphic relationship between the ringwork and the field system. <10>

Photographed during aerial photographic survey in 2008. <11>

Described as a small ringwork with a bailey. The entrance is now very wide and has presumably been altered. The bailey has no apparent rampart and was perhaps only palisaded or fenced. <12>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 01084 (Card index). SSA20722.

<01b> Chitty Lily F, 1949/ 1950, Flint implements recently found in Shropshire, p84 (Article in serial). SSA352.

<01a> Spurgeon C J & King D J C, 1965, The Mottes in the Vale of Montgomery, p82 (Article in serial). SSA4084.

<01> Ordnance Survey, 1977, Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31SE8 (Card index). SSA4086.

<02> Cambridge University Collection of Air Photos (CUCAP), 1966-Dec-20, CUCAP AQI84 to AQI85 (2 Photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17049.

<03c> Gibson (ed), 1695, Camden's Britannia (Map). SSA4085.

<03b> Eyton R W, 1854/ 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (Volume 7), p173-176, p190-191 (Monograph). SSA3835.

<03a> Victoria County History, 1908, Victoria County History 1, p342 (Volume). SSA178.

<03> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC), 1983, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 14321 (Field Monument Warden Report). SSA4090.

<04> English Heritage, 1990, Map of Scheduled area, 1990 (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA4087.

<05> Musson Chris R, 1986-Jan-03, CPAT 86/MB/0023 to 0025 (3 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17050.

<06> Musson Chris R, 1985-Jul-07, CPAT 85/09/0013 to 0017 (5 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17051.

<07> Musson Chris R, 1985-Jul-07, CPAT 85/10/0016 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17052.

<08> Anon, Heath Farm Ring Work (Photograph). SSA4089.

<09> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File (TEXT). SSA20084.

<10> English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 20/11/1995) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA4088.

<11> Shropshire Council, 2008-Dec-3, SA0813_067 to SA0813_074 and SA0813_076 to SA0813_078 (11 photos) Flight: 08_SA-13 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA25229.

<12> Higham R and Barker P, 1992, Timber Castles, p.207 (Monograph). SSA27331.


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01084.
[01b]SSA352 - Article in serial: Chitty Lily F. 1949/ 1950. Flint implements recently found in Shropshire. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Vol 53. 24-37. p84.
[01a]SSA4084 - Article in serial: Spurgeon C J & King D J C. 1965. The Mottes in the Vale of Montgomery. Archaeologia Cambrensis. Vol 114. p82.
[01]SSA4086 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31SE8. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ31SE8.
[02]SSA17049 - Oblique aerial photograph: Cambridge University Collection of Air Photos (CUCAP). 1966-Dec-20. CUCAP AQI84 to AQI85 (2 Photos). Black and white.
[03a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p342.
[03b]SSA3835 - Monograph: Eyton R W. 1854/ 1860. Antiquities of Shropshire (Volume 7). Vol 7. p173-176, p190-191.
[03c]SSA4085 - Map: Gibson (ed). 1695. Camden's Britannia.
[03]SSA4090 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1983. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 14321.
[04]SSA4087 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1990. Map of Scheduled area, 1990.
[05]SSA17050 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1986-Jan-03. CPAT 86/MB/0023 to 0025 (3 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[06]SSA17051 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1985-Jul-07. CPAT 85/09/0013 to 0017 (5 photos).
[07]SSA17052 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1985-Jul-07. CPAT 85/10/0016.
[08]SSA4089 - Photograph: Anon. Heath Farm Ring Work. Colour.
[09]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[10]SSA4088 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1995. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 20/11/1995). 19211.
[11]SSA25229 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2008-Dec-3. SA0813_067 to SA0813_074 and SA0813_076 to SA0813_078 (11 photos) Flight: 08_SA-13. Colour. Digital.
[12]SSA27331 - Monograph: Higham R and Barker P. 1992. Timber Castles. p.207.
Date Last Edited:Oct 29 2015 4:57PM