Hem Ring

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameHem Ring
Alternative NamesRea
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishWestbury

A small valley fort (sic) identified on APs by Dr St Joseph.

It was double ditched. A test trench across the inner ditch in 1958 tentatively identified three pre-Roman phases, the earliest a simple palisade trench. Four small fragments of pottery found. The pottery was shown to Messrs PA Barker, GC Dunning and JG Hurst and regarded by them as Roman with some medieval. A metalled trackway leading eastwards through the bank was reportedly found in 1959. L Chitty suggests that this may be the lost Domesday Manor of the Rea, and the site a Ringwork Castle (Guilbert G. 1976. Correspondence).

A little early medieval pottery was found. Field name Big Dollis (-dol + llys = meadow court?) (Chitty 1957-60)

There were no earthworks in any of the fields in the vicinity. Most of the fields have been ploughed in recent times. However, both the field names of the NGR and that adjoining it have the prefix Stony, in an area of no natural stone outcrops (Page 1977)

Sited in the Rea Valley about 100m OD. A roughly circular double- ditched enclosure, with simple entrance to S, c 120m in diameter. On the ground the site appears as a slight rise in the flat landscape. No surface features or defences are visible. The former owner reported that it was possible to see the cropmark on the ground when they owned it (Tyler Alan W. 1981-May. Site Visit Form).

The single palisade enclosure phase of this site was listed by Challis and Harding under Curvilinear enclosures (Iron Age) (Challis and Harding 1975).

The site of the deserted hamlet of Ree may have been the large circular ditched enclosure SW of Lower Hem Farm (VCH 1968).

Described by Whimster as a curvilinear double ditched enclosure (Whimster 1989).

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 20 Ringworks (Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File). (Shropshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Although must have been a marshy area in the early medieval period this certainly could have been an area of medieval settlement and there is a possibility that the Iron Age enclosure could have been reused as a ringwork. If so such reuse probably just represents rebuilding in the driest place rather than a particular need for a defended site.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ356057
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Whimster, Rowan, 1989, The Emerging Past: Air photography - the Buried Landscape (RCHME) No 1 on Fig 26, p. 43
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 72 (reject)
  • Challis, A.J. and Harding, D.W., 1975, Later Prehistory Trent to Tyne (British Archaeological Reports British Series 20.2) p. 53
  • Gaydon, A.T. (ed), 1968, VCH Shropshire Vol. 8 p. 307
  • Eyton, R.W.,1858, Antiquities of Shropshire (London) Vol. 7 p. 116-117 online copy


  • Chitty, L.F., 1957-60, Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club Vol. 15 p. 77


  • Page, S., 1977, Deserted Villages in Shropshire Site list. p. 29 (Typescript thesis)