Ryton Castle Hillfield
Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)
There are earthwork remains
|Name||Ryton Castle Hillfield
|Alternative Names||Ryton near Shifnal
A motte at Ryton is situated in the corner of a field, bounded on two sides by a steep drop down to the River Worfe (Nat Grid ref SJ 761029). The bailey is well-defined on the E side by a wide ditch, but on the S side it has been partly destroyed by the development of a 19th c garden. The subsoil is red sandstone.
An excavation carried out in 1959 was of an exploratory nature, and revealed a ditch around the mound approximately 10ft 6in deep and some 12 to 15ft wide at the top. Finds from the ditch section consisted of four Md sherds and a quantity of 18th and 19th c pieces. The field within which the site lies was known in 1841 as Castle Hillfield (Snape 1964)
SJ 76010292. Motte 3.0m high and circa 35.0m in diameter at the base with a flat top circa 8.0m in diameter on which is a large dead tree. There are traces of a ditch on the SE side. The 'wide ditch on the E side' probably refers to the natural gully or hollow way at SJ 76070293.
If there was a bailey it would probably have occupied the level area to the S of the motte. No remains could be positively identified
but a short length of scarp slope may have defined part of its E side (F1 DJC 25-JUN-75).
Reassessment of the motte, with a view to extending the constraint area if a bailey exists, found no evidence for a bailey. The ditch on the east side is a natural gulley, and landscaping makes it impossible to determine it elsewhere. The size of the motte probably means that it was only ever intended to support a watch tower. Normal planning controls should apply (Reid 2000)
The damaged remains of a medieval motte (earthwork castle, in this case probably the mound of a watchtower), the southern half of which was removed as recently as 1999 in order to backfill a swimming pool.
A motte at Ryton is situated in the corner of a field, bounded on two sides by a steep drop down to the R Worfe (Snape 1964).
The bailey is well defined on the E side by a wide ditch, but on the S side it has been partly destroyed by the development of a C19 garden. Excavation in 1959 revealed a ditch around the mound approx 10ft 6ins deep and 12ft to 15ft wide at the top. Finds from the ditch section consisted of four medieval sherds and a quantity of C18 & C19 material. Field Name in 1841 was Castle Hill field. Motte 3m high and c35m diameter at base with a flat top c8m diameter on which is a large dead tree. Traces of ditch on SE side. The wide ditch on the E side probably refers to the natural gully or hollow way at SJ7607 0293. If there was a bailey it would have occupied the level area to the S of the motte. no remains could be positively identified but a short length of scarp slope may have defined part of its E side (1975. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ70SE9).
A motte 120m NW of Ryton Parish Church is situated immediately above the steep-sided meandering valley of the River Worfe. The flat-topped, steep-sided motte constructed of earth was originally circular, apx 35m in diameter at its base and 10m across the top. In relation to the sloping ground on which it stands, its height increases from 3m to 4.3m. The size of the mound indicates that it was only large enough to support a watchtower. With the exception of the steep ground to the north and north west a ditch was dug around the mound. This is no longer visible at ground level as an earthwork, but see below. A trench dug by JWG Snape through the eastern portion of the ditch in 1959 found that it was 3.7m - 4.6m wide at the top and apx 3.5m deep. Pottery dating from the 12th to the 15th century was found and there was evidence that the ditch had possibly been recut. In the early part of 1999 the southern portion of the motte was removed to infill a disused swimming pool at Ryton Grove. Almost half the mound has been severly damaged and the upper dark fills of the ditch have been exposed.
A published plan of the site by JWG Snape shows a possible bailey to the south and east of the motte. The supposed ditch defining the eastern side of the bailey noted by Snape is in fact a natural gulley. A low scarp running NW-SE, to the south of the ditch surrounding the mound, was considered by the Ordnance Survey field investigator as forming part of the defences of a possible bailey. The area to the south of this short low scarp is within the garden of Ryton Grove and has been landscaped. The disturbance of this area makes any further interpretation (whether or not a bailey was constructed) extremely difficult (Reid 2000). (Shropshire HER)
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||SJ760029