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Warfield Bank

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Hopton Motte

In the civil parish of Hopton Castle.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO37137740
Latitude 52.39100° Longitude -2.92526°

Warfield Bank has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The ringwork on Warfield Bank survives well and is a good example of this class of monument. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, age and nature of use. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the surrounding bank and in the ditch fill. The proximity of Hopton Castle, which lies some 600m to the north west of the site and may be in some way associated with the ringwork, increases the archaeological importance of the site. Such monuments, when considered in relationship to other monuments of a similar period which occur in close proximity, contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period.
The monument includes the remains of a small ringwork castle situated on the summit of Warfield Bank, a small isolated knoll with extensive views in all directions. The position has been chosen for its strategic strength and the site is clearly designed as a military work. The ringwork is circular in plan with an overall diameter of 42m and includes a circular bank with an average width of 7m and height of 1.6m enclosing an internal area 25m in diameter. The interior surface of the enclosure originally would have been at the same level as the outside ground. However, the interior has been cut into in the north and south quarters creating deep water-filled hollows separated by a narrow stone ridge. Central to the ridge is a deep circular water-filled hollow cut into the stone. These excavations may be the result of stone quarrying; stone is close to the surface and a later quarry lies lower down the hill to the north east. A break 6m wide in the north east quarter of the bank, slightly out-turned on the south east side, appears to be an original entrance. A surrounding ditch, from which the material would have been quarried for the construction of the bank, is visible as a slight hollow 4m wide and 0.2m deep for a short length around the north west and south west sides; elsewhere it will survive as a buried feature of similar width. Local tradition suggests that the enclosure was constructed during the Civil War as an emplacement for the cannon shelling of Hopton Castle which lies 600m to the north west. There is a clear view of the castle from Warfield Bank. (Scheduling Report)

Rather slight remains of a ringwork castle (Alcock and King).
Eighty foot in diameter, surrounded by a bank 9ft high with an entrance to the NE (VCH 1908).
The bank is 8m wide and 1.6m high (average). The outer ditch, largely ploughed out or silted up, is, where best preserved..4m wide and less than 0.2m deep. The interior is 26m in diameter. ... (Ordnance Survey Record Card SO37NE38)
It appears that the site as depicted on the OS 1:2500 map has been turned thorough 90degs clockwise. Sited on an isolated hill with extensive views in all directions. A circular turf-covered bank with traces of an outer ditch on the west and north east quadrants. Dimensions are as described by the OS. The interior is level with the outside ground, but it has been largely quarried away..The major break is to the NNE and is slightly out turned-interpreted by the OS as a completely modern break, it would appear to be the most likely site for the original entrance, as it faces the col between Warfield Bank and the ridge/spur to the NE beyond... The outer ditch only remains as a short length to the west and in an arc from the north to east, except across the existing entrance. ..According to the tenant, the earthwork was an emplacement for cannon shelling Hopton Castle (Tyler Alan W. 1981-Feb-12. Site Visit Form)
Site surrounded by ridge and furrow running in several directions, suggesting that several furlongs are involved. The ridge and furrow is well preserved but is small and closely spaced. DH FI 1991. Utilisation of an existing quarry below the site was investigated in March 1991. It was noted that any extension of the quarry might require Scheduled Monument consent (Haigh David H. 1991-Mar-11. Consultation Response). (Shropshire HER)

Hill top site, isolated from settlement. The local manorial centre was Hopton Castle and there is nothing to suggest any sub-manors or any medieval sieges of that castle. Was this ever a medieval ringwork or was it, as local tradition suggests, just a crude embankment around the Civil War gun emplacement.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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