Cannock Castle Ring

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameCannock Castle Ring
Alternative NamesBeaudesert
Historic CountryStaffordshire
Modern AuthorityStaffordshire
1974 AuthorityStaffordshire
Civil ParishCannock Wood

'Foundations of building' are shown on the plan of Castle Ring Camp (VCH, 1908). They can be associated with those mentioned by Cockin which have been variously described as the remains of a hunting lodge or the site of the Castle of Beaudesert. Molyneux refers to remains of a medieval structure which he excavated within Castle Ring. On a rectangular platform made in the gentle eastern slope of this part of the plateau-fort (I.A.) are the stone footings 1.5 m. thick, of a substantial building. Its ground-plan is that of a probable 12/13th century hall, orientated north to south, with a screen-passage near the south end. The foundations of the Medieval lodge, centred at SK 0435 1290, within Castle Ring Hillfort were surveyed at 1:200 by RCHME in 1988. The stone foundations measure 20.6m by 11.5m externally. The outer edge of the building is defined by a scarp that represents the base of an excavation trench and in places by a chamfered stone plinth. The building comprises two (or possibly three) cells separated by a narrow passage way. The southernmost cell measuring 3.1m north-south and 8.2m transversely is the smaller of the two, and is clearly defined by a combination of insitu stones and low scarps. The position of a former doorway in the north wall of the cell is discernible, and at the east end of the passage way is a carefully worked door jam. The northernmost cell is considerably larger, measuring 11m north-south and 8.2m transversely. It is also defined by a small scarp and, in places, by insitu stones. Along the central axis of the room are three sub-rectangular depressions, the middle one of which contains a chamfered sandstone pillar base. There is considerable disturbance around the exterior of the building due largely to previous excavation of the foundations; however it is possible that the disturbance is partly indicative of further building remains

A resistivity survey of the area carried out in 1987 failed to provide any further detail on the building. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Possibly the site of a royal hunting lodge used by William II and Henry I but probably abandoned early in reign of Henry II who built a new lodge at Radmore. The name Beaudesert now applies to the Hall a mile to the NE but may well have originally applied to the medieval building within this IA fort, the fort itself and the surrounding hunting park.

- 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 ReferenceSK044128
Latitude52.7138404846191
Longitude-1.93703997135162
Eastings404430
Northings312820
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Pevsner, N., 1974, Buildings of England: Staffordshire (London, Penguin) p. 93
  • Greenslade, M.W., 1967, in Greenslade, M.W. and Jenkins, J.G. (eds), VCH Staffordshire Vol. 2 p. 338- (for history of Cannock Forest and Foresters)
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 907, 988-9
  • Lynam, Charles, 1908, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm. (ed), VCH Staffordshire Vol. 1 p. 336-8 (plan) online copy
  • Shaw, Stebbing, 1798, The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire (J.Nichols abd Son) (Republished 1976 by EP Publishing) Vol. 1 p. 40

Journals

  • Palliser, D.M., 1972, 'Staffordshire Castles: A Provisional List' Staffordshire Archaeology Vol. 1 p. 5-8
  • Forde-Johnston, J.1964, 'The Hillforts of Staffordshire' and 'Castle Ring' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 120 p. 262-3, 299-300 (prehistoric only) online copy
  • Cockin, G.M., 1906, 'The Ancient Industries of Cannock Chase' Transactions of the Burton on Trent Natural History and Archaeologial Society Vol. 5.2 p. 127 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 211 online copy
  • Duignan, W.H., 1884, 'On The King's house and The Priory at Radmore, on Cannock Chase' The Midland Antiquary Vol. 3 p. 58-66
  • Molyneux, 1863, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 20 p. 198 (slight report of finds) online copy

Guide Books

  • Anon, 1983, The Iron Age Hill Fort of Castle Ring a guide and information leaflet (Cannock Chase District Council)

Other

  • Wayne Cocroft Marcus Jecock and Robert Wilson-North RCHME: Staffordshire Hillforts Project 20/04/1988
  • Strain, R., 1987, A Geophysical Survey of the Iron Age Hillfort of Castle Ring Staffordshire (Unpublished BA dissertation Leicester University)