Panpudding Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Siege Work

There are earthwork remains

NamePanpudding Hill
Alternative NamesPampudding Hill; Oldbury
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishBridgnorth

The monument includes the remains of a substantial ringwork and bailey castle and a building platform situated on Panpudding Hill, a steep sided promontory south of Bridgnorth and overlooking, to the east, the valley of the River Severn and, to the north, a steep sided valley. The ringwork is intervisible with the ruined Bridgnorth Castle, a tower keep castle (the subject of a separate scheduling) which occupies the southern tip of Castle Hill, a higher spur 250m to the north east, on the north side of the valley. The positions of both castles have been chosen for their strategic strength controlling a crossing place on the River Severn. Stylistically Panpudding Hill ringwork appears to be the earlier of the two, but its foundation has been attributed to Henry I who is believed to have constructed it in 1102 as a stronghold during his siege against the northern castle held by Robert de Bellesme. The castle earthworks are designed to make maximum use of the natural defensive strength of the hill. The ringwork itself is roughly oval in plan with maximum dimensions of 84m north east to south west by 68m transversely. The defences include a strong outer scarp averaging 3.5m high which has been created by cutting back the natural hillslope around the north, east and south sides of the spur to steepen the natural slope. This cutting into the slope has created an outer berm, averaging 3m wide around the north and north east and up to 14m wide around the south and south east. The ringwork outer scarp was continued around the west side of the hill, the natural approach along the ridge, by cutting a substantial ditch up to 8m wide and lm deep across the neck of the spur. The summit of the prominence created is roughly circular in plan with a diameter of 50m. Around the west and south edges of this summit a substantial flat topped bank averaging 10m wide and lm high has been constructed to strengthen the defences

The defended internal area of the ringwork is level and measures 47m north east to south west by 32m transversely. At the western end of the southern, outer, berm a lower terraced platform has been created against the south east junction between the ringwork and bailey. This may represent the site of a roughly rectangular building approximately 18m east to west by 10m transversely. Attached to the west side of the ringwork and separated from it by its western ditch, is a well defined enclosure, or bailey, within which domestic buildings associated with the castle would have been protected. It extends from the ringwork along the line of the ridge to the west and is roughly rectangular in plan; bounded on its north, west and south sides by a well defined scarp averaging 2.5m high. The fourth, east, side is formed by the western edge of the ringwork ditch. The bailey has internal dimensions of 44m east to west and transversely narrows from a width of 40m adjacent to the ringwork, to 18m at its western end. At the south east corner are earthworks representing an inner bank up to 0.5m high. At the western end of the bailey the inner bank is up to 6m wide and 0.9m high and, has an outer ditch 10m wide and 1.2m deep which cuts roughly north west to south east across the line of the spur. The ditch is believed to continue as a buried feature around the north and south sides of the bailey. (EH scheduling report 1996)

Gatehouse Comments

Probably reused in siege of 1155 and possibly also in the sieges of 1321 and 1646. The name is clearly a reference to the topographic form of the ring work. Pan Puddings, of which there are several C17 references to Shropshire Pan Puddings seems to be a version of Yorkshire puddings - egg and floor batter cooked in a pan, which, when cooked, rise around the edge of the pan. On the OS maps has always been named Panpudding. However, in some texts is called Pampudding. This seems to be a typographical error that has become fixed.

- 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 ReferenceSO715924
Latitude52.5293312072754
Longitude-2.42096996307373
Eastings371540
Northings292480
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
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. 33
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 25
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 33
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 7
  • Rowley, R.T., 1986, The Landscape of the Welsh Marches p. 85
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 427
  • Rowley, Trevor, 1972, The Shropshire Landscape (Hodder and Stoughton) p. 187
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 398 (plan)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 127 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 273-83 online copy
  • Eyton, R.W., 1854, Antiquities of Shropshire (London) Vol. 1 p. 131 online copy

Journals

  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as siegework)
  • Watkins-Pitchford, W., 1947-8, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 52 p. 167
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 210 (as Oldbury) online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1874, 'Bridgenorth, Oldbury and Quatford' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 29 p. 274 (reprinted in MMA) online copy

Other

  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy
  • Time Team (Mike Aston et al), 2001 (1st broadcast), 'The Leaning Tower of Bridgnorth, Shropshire' Time Team TV Programme (Time Team, a Videotext/Picture House production for Channel 4) View online
  • English Heritage, 1996, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 02/01/1996)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1986, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 31097 (07/10/1986)