Hawcocks Mount

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameHawcocks Mount
Alternative NamesHawcocks Farm Ringwork; Winsley
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishWestbury

Hawcocks Mount ringwork survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, and to the character of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the rampart and in the lower sediments of the ditch fill. The proximity of Caus Castle which lies approximately 1km to the west of the ringwork, and the suggestion in the 14th century field name that the two sites are related to each other, adds to the archaeological importance of the site. Such monuments when considered, either as individual sites, or as a part of the broader medieval landscape contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern, economy, military technology and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period.

The monument includes Hawcocks Mount, the remains of a ringwork castle situated on an east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Rea, along which ran the old routeway from Shrewsbury to Montgomery. The ringwork stands in a field which was known in 1361 as Aldescausefield (Old Caus Field) subsequently this became corrupted to Hawcocks Field. The name is believed to refer to Caus Castle, a major Norman castle and borough which lies approximately 1km to the west. It is possible that the ringwork is associated with the larger site and that it may be the predecessor of the castle. The ringwork is roughly circular in plan with an overall diameter of approximately 72m and includes an outer ditch, scarped rampart and inner bank. The ditch survives as a substantial earthwork, averaging 8m wide and 2m deep around the west, south and south east sides of the site; it remains water-filled around the south east quarter. A causeway 3m wide crosses the ditch in the south west quarter of the site

Around the north and north east sides of the site the ditch is no longer visible but it will survive as a buried feature of similar proportions. A substantial scarp rises from the ditch to a height of 7m and is surmounted around its upper edge by a pronounced bank 4m wide and 1.5m high, interrupted in its northern quarter by a possible entrance gap 5m wide. The interior of the ringwork is roughly oval in plan with dimensions of 33m north to south by 28m transversely. Its surface is level with no visible earthworks. (Scheduling Report)

The ring-work at Hawcocks Mount was possibly the predecessor to Caus Castle. It stands in a field which in 1361 was known as "Aldecausefield" (Old Caus Field), subsequently corrupted to Hawcocks Field, and was situated on the old road from Westbury to Montgomery. Rig-and-Furrow visible in the surrounding field may be associated with a deserted hamlet, possibly of pre-Conquest date. (PastScape ref. VCH 1908)

Gatehouse Comments

Was this the site of the Domesday manor of Alretone as suggested by Eyton (although Open Domesday locates it as Trewern)? If this was a precursor site to Caus Castl what was the reason for building a small ringwork here rather than immediately moving to the existing Iron hill fort?

- 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 ReferenceSJ349077
Latitude52.663761138916
Longitude-2.96389007568359
Eastings334910
Northings307760
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 79-80
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 32
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 27, 72, 195, 201, 202, 205
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 14
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 431 (Westbury No. 1)
  • Meisel, J., 1980, Barons of the Welsh Frontier p. 6
  • Gaydon, A.T. (ed), 1968, VCH Shropshire Vol. 8 p. 303
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 388-9 (plan)
  • Eyton, R.W., 1858, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 7 p. 6- (tenurial history) online copy

Journals

  • Barker, P.A., 1981, 'Caus Castle and Hawcocks Mount' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 34
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Lawson, J., 1965, Shropshire Archaeological Society newsletter Vol. 28 p. 2
  • 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
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12
  • Chitty, Lily, 1949, 'Subsidiary Castle Sites West of Shrewsbury' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society Vol. 53 p. 83-90

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 27 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. 25 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. 36 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 46 online copy
  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Affirmation, 19/09/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1986, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 30246 (09/04/1986)