Culmington Camp Ring

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameCulmington Camp Ring
Alternative NamesStanton Lacy
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishStanton Lacy

Camp Ring motte and bailey castle survives well and is an excellent example of its class. The additional features associated with the castle, the L-shaped enclosure, fishpond and ridge and furrow, make the site of particular value and one of the most informative examples of its class in the county. The motte and bailey will retain valuable archaeological information relating to the method of construction and the occupation of the site. The stratified relationship of the motte and bailey, attached enclosure, fishpond and surrounding field system provide important information concerning the development and function of the site throughout the period of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed and the economy of its inhabitants will survive beneath the motte and banks and in the fills of the various ditches. Such complex monuments, when considered as single sites or as a part of a broader medieval landscape, contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, the development of the rural economy and the social stucture of the countryside during the medieval period.

The monument includes the remains of a motte and bailey castle, known as Camp Ring, an L-shaped enclosure, fishpond and parts of a field system with ridge and furrow ploughing. Camp Ring motte and bailey castle stands on a low ridge contained within the confluence of the River Corve to the west and Pye Brook to the east. The motte is roughly circular in plan with a base diameter of 28m rising 2.5m above the surrounding ground surface to a flat topped summit 16m in diameter. A well defined ditch averaging 7m wide and up to 1.3m deep surrounds the motte. The ditch would have originally been wet and remains seasonally water-filled around its north east and east sides. Here water- erosion and stock trampling over the years has flattened and widened the ditch profile to give a maximum width of 10m

Adjoining the motte and ditch on its south west side is a well defined bailey, designed to protect the domestic buildings of the castle. It is sub-circular in plan and is enclosed by a substantial bank 5m wide and 0.7m high with an outer ditch 5m wide and 0.5m deep, from which the material for the bank would have been quarried. The interior of the bailey is roughly at the same level as the surrounding ground surface and slopes slightly north east to south west. The lowest portion is in the south west quadrant of the bailey which is subject to seasonal waterlogging. A shallow channel 4m wide and 0.2m deep runs south west, downhill from the south west corner of the bailey for 30m before fading out on the hillslope. A channel 4m wide and 0.6m deep extends from the south east junction of motte and bailey ditches for 30m to the south east then turns east, running for some 50m to connect with the field ditch to the east. A lowering of the bank, with a corresponding interruption of the ditch, positioned midway along the southern side of the bailey probably represents the position of the original entrance. To the immediate north east of the motte is a large L-shaped enclosure defined by a bank and ditch. The north west side of the enclosure is formed by a low inner bank averaging 4m wide and 0.4m high with an outer ditch 3m wide and 0.3m deep. This runs north eastwards from the north west corner of the bailey on a similar alignment to the north west side of the bailey itself. The bank turns at right angles towards the south east after 80m, fading out after some 20m. The outer ditch similarly turns to the south east and continues for 100m. It then turns to the south at right angles for 30m then, similarly, to the WNW, running for 60m before turning to the south west for 30m to join with the north east corner of the motte ditch. The interior of the L-shaped enclosure is occupied by two blocks of ridge and furrow cultivation separated by a north east to south west aligned headland. The western block lies on this alignment and runs the full length of the enclosure interior. The eastern block lies at right angles, parallel with the eastern arm of the enclosure and terminates in the west on the headland and in the east on the west bank of a small fishpond. The length of the blocks is too short to accommodate the turning of an oxen team, suggesting that they represent the remains of ridged cultivation, possibly supporting an orchard. The fishpond lies within the eastern arm of the enclosure and respects its overall north east to south west orientation. It is a rectangular hollow 20m long by 12m wide averaging 1m in depth, bounded on all sides by a low bank 0.5m high. Gaps in the bank at the north west and south east corners may represent the outlet and inlet channels linking the pond with the enclosure ditch. Sluices positioned in these channels would have controlled the flow of water and allowed drainage of the pond. The water management system of which the pond is a part includes the ditches of the L-shaped enclosure and those of the motte and bailey. To the north, north west, east and south east of the motte and bailey, enclosure and fishpond, are the earthwork remains of an extensive and well defined system of open fields. These comprise blocks, or furlongs, of broad ridge and furrow earthworks, the individual cultivation strips averaging 8m in width. The furlongs, which lie roughly at right angles to each other, are separated from each other by well defined plough headlands. The furlong adjacent to the northern side of the L-shaped enclosure including the headlands to the west, north and east is complete, whereas all of the other earthworks are parts of blocks of ploughing which have been truncated by modern agriculture. The complete furlong is included within the scheduling as a sample of the field system as a whole, and a 10m wide strip is included all around the monument to protect the stratigraphic relationships between the field system as a whole and the motte and bailey complex. (Scheduling Report)

The motte and bailey at Camp Ring, Culmington, is still quite distinct although attached to other and later works. The motte stands 11 ft above its surrounding ditch which is 5 ft deep; to the south is a circular bailey enclosed by a ditch 1 ft deep and a rampart which stands 2 ft above the interior. The later earthworks consist of two rectangular enclosures to the NE of the motte, together forming a square area enclosed by a ditch which joins to the defences of the motte and bailey. The NW and NE sides of both enclosures are marked by low banks, though all is much reduced by ploughing (VCH 1908)

Visible on air photographs. As described above, though linked to additional ditches which may be old field boundaries. Much of the area is covered by rig-and-furrow (APs).

A motte and bailey situated upon a low ridge above surrounding former water meadows. The motte is 27.0m in diameter, 2.3m in height; the surrounding ditch is 8.0m in width, up to 1.3m in depth and is waterfilled on the E side. The circular bailey to the SW is 50.0m in diameter, with an enclosing ditch, 5.0m wide, 0.5m deep with an inner bank, 5.0m wide and 0.7m high. A causewayed entrance crosses the SW side.

To the NE of the motte are two contiguous rectangular enclosures bounded by ploughed-down banks and ditches, possibly outer wards, but more likely associated with traces of a surrounding field system. Strong rig-and-furrow, which covers the ridge, respects the rectangular banks at all points and post-dates them (F1 ASP 16-JAN-73). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Modest, but wealthy, Domesday manor held by Earl Roger of Shrewsbury in 1086 but with a complex tenurial history thereafter.

- 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 ReferenceSO497821
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 69-70
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 430
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 399 (plan)
  • Eyton, R.W., 1857, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 5 p. 181- (tenurial history) online copy


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 27 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 26 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 27 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 24 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 37 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 35 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 35 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 46 online copy
  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 19/09/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1987, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 33020 (11/08/1987)