Hartlebury enclosure

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameHartlebury enclosure
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWorcestershire
Modern AuthorityWorcestershire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishHartlebury

A large circular embanked enclosure. Bank survives to a height of between 1 to 1.5 metres. Internally the bank is slightly concave, regular and steep sloping. Externally has an initial steep slope before sloping more gradually to ground level. It is up to 5 to 7 metres wide. Internally the base is a regular shallow concave form. The form and physical nature of this monument is substantial, and it may have supported further substantial timber structures within. It is too regular to be either a natural feature or a sand quarry. Indeed it does not compare with the form of the many other quarries on the Common. It could not be placed in the chronological framework and it is highly unlikely to be modern. It is also unlikely to be one of the barrows referred to in Antiquarian references. It is likely that it was located in a visually distinctive position within the local landscape. It may have operated as some type of signalling post or even as a signalling station. It may have been a hunting lodge or small ringwork castle of the 11th to 12th centuries. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER)

As well as a double holloway that passes through the eastern side of the compartment from north – south, there are a few small quarries, a cluster of which surround the eastern side of the feature known as the “earthwork structure” (WSM32667). This feature is identified as dating between the prehistoric and post- medieval period and is located at the summit of the scarp in the north-western corner of the compartment. (Button)

Gatehouse Comments

Not in PastScape. The only feature at this grid reference shown on the 1903 1:2500 OS map is marker 'gravel pit'. I can see a slight feature, which appears to be a focus for footpaths. If this an area of medieval common, as is suggested by the local place name, this is highly unlikely as a hunting lodge, manorial centre or any other type of castle. It should be noted the area was a rifle range in the late C19 and it may be possible this was a practice fieldwork done by the local militia or a simple safe redoubt for markers of the rifle range. Alternatively it could be any number of other things including a stock pen or stable for ponies associated with quarrying. The local geology is of unstable sands and it may be doubted if a feature of any great age would have survived.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO823705
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Button, Nick, 2009, Implementation Plan for Hartlebury Common, Hartlebury, Worcestershire (Worcestershire Wildlife Consultancy) online copy
  • Mindykowski, Adam and Bretherton, Jez, 2003, Survey at Hartlebury Common. Archaeological Service - Worcestershire County Council. Archaeological Service - Worcestershire County Cou. 1166. p. 23 and 6