Tissington Ringwork

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameTissington Ringwork
Alternative Names
Historic CountryDerbyshire
Modern AuthorityDerbyshire
1974 AuthorityDerbyshire
Civil ParishTissington

Possible ringwork listed by King.

Adjoining the churchyard at Tissington on the north side of the church is a very similar earthwork to that at Hathersage much worn down, with a diameter of about 130 ft. (VCH)

The remains of the redoubt at Tissington survive particularly well as a series of substantial earthworks and will retain significant archaeological potential in the form of buried deposits. The archaeological evidence combined with the documentary records will contribute to the understanding of Civil War activity in the area and its effects on the wider landscape.

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a Civil War redoubt at Tissington. A redoubt is a fieldwork used during military operations to provide temporary protection for infantry or to act as gun emplacements. The monument is situated on the brow of a hill and affords good views of the main, northern approach road into the village, Tissington Hall and the church. The remains include a three sided square enclosure which measures approximately 28m across. The enclosure is defined by an internal bank, or rampart, which measures up to 0.75m high and 5m wide with an external ditch approximately 3m wide. Another bank runs parallel to the western side of the ditch and measures approximately 5m wide. This would have served to enhance the edge of the ditch on the west side where the land slopes steeply away. Tissington Hall was garrisoned for the king by its owner, Colonel Fitzherbert in December 1643. In 1644 the Parliamentarians routed the Royalists hereabouts but following unsuccessful action near Ashbourne in February 1644, the garrison was withdrawn. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Is this a new C17 earthwork or a medieval castle reused in the C17 siege of Tissington Hall? The location, adjacent to the church, is absolutely typical for a small castle and if there had been no Civil War action in the area would probably be unquestioningly accepted as a ringwork to which it clearly has some resemblance, although it is square on the north side (An alteration?). As I read the map it is not on the brow of the hill and Gatehouse suspects if it had been a fresh Civil War build a location slightly further up the hill and away from the church might have been chosen (although, if the church tower was used for spotting, then a position close to the church does make sense for an artillery piece). However, given an existing earthwork in a near ideal position it would be no surprise if it was altered and used by Civil War soldiers.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK176523
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 29 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 111 (possible)
  • Hart, C.R., 1981, The North Derbyshire archaeological survey to AD1500 p. 149, 154
  • Cox, J.C., 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Derbyshire Vol. 1 p. 374 online copy


  • Hodges, R., 1980, 'Excavations at Camp Green, Hathersage (1976-77) - a Norman ringwork' Derbyshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 100 p. 32 online copy
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127


  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 348 online copy