A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
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Distribution map of urban fortifications

List of Medieval Urban Defences in England

Town walls, banks and gates. Those built by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons or Danes are mentioned if they were maintained, at least partly, during the period 1000-1600. As with most fortifications of the period these were not simply defensive but also reflected social status. Ambitious town leaders would petition for and build walls for the personal and civic kudos. Walls and ditches, or sometimes just isolated gates, also regulated trade and made collection of taxes easier. Some villages, in vulnerable areas, had simple defences of ditches to deter cattle raiders and 'wolves' (Although it is doubtful wolves were a significant threat, to any community at any time, they were believed to be a threat and had enormous psychological power).
Questionable or Doubtful
Confidence is a statement of the site as a medieval fortification


Name Alternative Name(s) County Remains
Abingdon Town Defences Berkshire no visible
Almondbury Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire earthwork
Alnwick Town Wall Alnewyke; Bondgate; Hotspur Gateway; Pottergate; Clayport; Narrowgate Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Anstey Village Defences Hertfordshire earthwork
Arundel Town Defences St Mary's Gate Sussex earthwork
Ascott d'Oilly Village Defences Ascot Doilly Oxfordshire earthwork
Ashley Village Defences Hampshire and the Isle of Wight masonry footings
Askham Village Defences Ascum; Ascom Westmorland major building
Aylesbury Town Defences Buckinghamshire no visible
Banbury Town Defences Cole Bar; Sugarford Bar; St John's Bar; Bridge Gate Oxfordshire no visible
Barnstaple Town Wall Barum Devonshire no visible
Barton upon Humber Town Rampart Castledyke Lincolnshire no visible
Bath City Wall Bathe Somerset masonry ruins/remnants
Bedford Town Bank and The Kings Ditch Kings Dyke Bedfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Belvoir Town Defences Belveder; De Bello Videre Leicestershire no visible
Berwick Town Wall , Spades Mire and Lord's Mount The Ditches; Cowgate; Scotsgate; Bell Tower; Shore Gate Northumberland major building
Beverley Town Defences North Bar; Norwood Bar; Newbegin Bar; Eastgate Bar; Keldgate Bar Yorkshire major building
Bewdley Town Gates Welch Gate; Dog Lane Gate; Tinkers Gate Worcestershire no visible
Bishops Castle town defences Shropshire no visible
Bolsover Town Defences Derbyshire earthwork
Boston Town Defences Lincolnshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Bridgnorth Town Defences Bridgenorth; Burgh; Cow Gate; Listley Gate; North Gate; West Gate; Hungary Gate; St Marys Gate; Whitburn Gate; Barrier Gate Shropshire masonry footings
Bridgwater Town Defences Brugewauter; Eastover Somerset no visible
Bridport Town Ramparts Brydian Dorset no visible
Brighton Town Defences Sussex no visible
Bristol Town Wall Gloucestershire masonry ruins/remnants
Broadstairs York Gate Kent masonry ruins/remnants
Bungay Town Defence Suffolk no visible
Burpham Burh Sussex earthwork
Bury St Edmunds Town Defences Suffolk no visible
Cadbury Castle Cadebi; Cadanbyrig; castri de Cadebir; Camalet; Camelot; Camallate Somerset earthwork
Cambridge Town Defences Kings Ditch Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely no visible
Canterbury City Wall Kent major building
Carlisle City Wall Bochard Gate; English Gate; Irish Gate; Scotch Gate; Tile Tower, {Bocher Gate, Caldew Gate, Richard Gate (Leland)} Cumberland major building
Castle Acre Town Defences Norfolk masonry ruins/remnants
Castle Bytham Village Defences Biham Lincolnshire earthwork
Castle Camps Village Defences Campo Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely earthwork
Castle Carlton Borough Defences Market Carlton Lincolnshire earthwork
Castle Hedingham Town Ditch Essex earthwork
Castleton Town Defences Derbyshire earthwork
Caus Town Defenses Cause; Caurs; Chaus; Caws Shropshire earthwork
Chester City Wall Cheshire major building
Chesterfield Town Defences Derbyshire no visible
Chesterwood 1 and 2 Bastles Mellom Cottage Outbuilding Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Chesterwood 6 Bastle Outbuilding to south east of green Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Chesterwood Farmhouse Chesterwood 4 Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Chesterwood Mellom Cottage Northumberland no visible
Chesterwood West Farm Cottage Chesterwood 3 Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Chesterwood; The Golf House The Old Pele House, Chesterwood 5 Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Chichester City Wall Cisseceastre; Ciceastre; Cheechester Sussex major building
Chipping Ongar Town Defences Essex cropmark/slight earthwork
Chirbury Kings Orchard Shropshire earthwork
Chirbury Town Defences Cyricbyrig Shropshire no visible
Christchurch Town Wall Twyneham; Twinham; Twynam Hampshire and the Isle of Wight earthwork
Cirencester Town Wall Gloucestershire masonry footings
Clare Town Defences Hawedych Suffolk cropmark/slight earthwork
Clun Town Wall Shropshire masonry footings
Colchester Town Wall Essex major building
Corbridge Town Defences Northumberland no visible
Coventry City Wall Warwickshire masonry ruins/remnants
Cricklade Town Wall Crecgelade Wiltshire masonry ruins/remnants
Derby Town Defences Derbyshire no visible
Devizes Town Defences Vyes Wiltshire no visible
Doncaster Town Defences Gillot Bar; Hallgate Bar; Sun Bar; Bardike Yorkshire no visible
Dorchester Town Wall Dorset masonry footings
Dover Town Defences Kent no visible
Droitwich Town Gates Worcestershire no visible
Dunstable Town Defences Bedfordshire no visible
Dunwich Town Defences Pales Dyke Suffolk cropmark/slight earthwork
Durham City Wall Promontory Wall Durham masonry ruins/remnants
Eardisley Village Defences Ardelea; Herdeslege; Erdisley Herefordshire earthwork
Eddisbury Town Defences Cheshire earthwork
English Bicknor Village Defences Gloucestershire cropmark/slight earthwork
Evistones Bastles and Defended Village Northumberland masonry footings
Ewyas Harold Borough Defences Ewias Harold Herefordshire earthwork
Exeter City Wall Devonshire major building
Farnham Town Defences Surrey no visible
Fell Foot and Fell Foot Cottage, Wall Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Fowey Town Defences Cornwall no visible
Framlingham Town Defences Suffolk cropmark/slight earthwork
Gloucester City Wall Gloucestre; Gloucestrie Gloucestershire masonry footings
Great Yarmouth Town Wall Gernemuth Norfolk major building
Greenhead House, Wall Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Grimsby Town defences Burdyke; Burdike Lincolnshire no visible
Guildford Town Defences Surrey no visible
Hadrian Cottages, Wall Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Hartlepool Town Wall Hertepol; Hartilpol; Hertelpole; Hertilpole; Hertilpol; Sandwell Gate Durham major building
Harwich Castle Herewiche Essex no visible
Harwich Town Defences Herewycz Essex no visible
Hastings Town Wall Sussex masonry footings
Haughley village enclosure Suffolk cropmark/slight earthwork
Hedon Town Defences Yorkshire earthwork
Helmsley Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire earthwork
Henley on Thames Town Wall Oxfordshire no visible
Hereford City Wall Herefordshire masonry ruins/remnants
Hertford Town Defences Hertfordshire no visible
Holdgate Village Defences Holgate; Helgots; Stanton Holegate; Stanton Long Shropshire earthwork
Huntingdon Town Defences Bar Dyke Huntingdonshire no visible
Ilchester Town Wall Somerset masonry footings
Ipswich Shire Hall Yard Suffolk no visible
Ipswich Town Wall Gippewico Suffolk cropmark/slight earthwork
Jews Mount and Mount Pelham Jewes mount Oxfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Kilpeck Village Defences Herefordshire earthwork
Kings Lynn Town Wall Norfolk masonry ruins/remnants
Kingston upon Hull Town Wall Beverley Gate; Mamhole Gate; Hessle Gate; Myton gate; Postern Gate; Quay St Gate; Low Gate; North Gate; Sutton Town Gates Yorkshire masonry footings
Knaresborough Town Defences Chenaresburg Yorkshire no visible
Knockin Castle Cnockin; Cnukin; Knockyn; Knoking; Cnucin Shropshire earthwork
Langport Town Defences Somerset masonry ruins/remnants
Launceston Town Wall Dunheved Cornwall major building
Leicester Town Wall Leicestershire no visible
Leominster Town Defences Leomynstre Herefordshire no visible
Lewes Town Wall Laewe; Laewas; Lewis Sussex masonry footings
Lichfield City Defences Bachunneswich Gate; Culstubbe Gate; Sandford Gate; Tamworth Gate; Stowe Castle Staffordshire no visible
Lincoln City Wall Lincolnshire masonry ruins/remnants
London City Wall London and Middlesex masonry ruins/remnants
Longtown Village Defences Herefordshire earthwork
Ludgershall Town Defences Wiltshire earthwork
Ludlow Town Wall Ludelawe; Ludlowe; Lodelowe; Christ Croft Shropshire masonry ruins/remnants
Lydford Town Defences Hlidan Devonshire earthwork
Lyng Burghal Defences Somerset earthwork
Macclesfield Town Defences Cheshire no visible
Maldon Town Walls Maldun Essex no visible
Malmesbury Town Defences Caer-Bladon; Ingleburn Wiltshire masonry footings
Manchester Hanging Bridge and Town Defences Old Man Castle; Hanging Ditch Lancashire masonry footings
Manningtree Town Defences Essex cropmark/slight earthwork
Melmerby Village Cumberland major building
Meppershall Village Defences Bedfordshire earthwork
Milburn Village Westmorland major building
Mileham village enclosure Norfolk earthwork
More Village Defences Shropshire earthwork
Morpeth Town Gates Northumberland no visible
Mount Bures Village Enclosure Essex cropmark/slight earthwork
Mount Ferrant Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire uncertain
New Buckenham Town Defences Norfolk cropmark/slight earthwork
New Malton Town Defences Yorkshire no visible
New Winchelsea Town Wall Winceleseia; Winchenesel; Winchelsay; Wynchelse; Yhamme; Ihamme; The Strand Gate; North Gate; Pipewell Gate; Land Gate; Ferry Gate; New Gate Sussex major building
Newark on Trent Town Wall Nottinghamshire masonry footings
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Town Wall Ever Tower; Morden Tower; Heber Tower; Wall Knoll Tower; Durham Tower; Corner Tower; Gunner Tower; Austin Tower; Carliol Tower; Denton Tower; Fickett Tower; Monboucher Tower; Pink Tower; Stank Tower; Water Tower; West Spittal Tower; White Friar Tower; New Gate; Pandon Gate; Pilgrim Gate; Sand Gate; West Gate; Close Gate Northumberland major building
Newnham Town Defences Gloucestershire no visible
Newport Pagnell Town Defences Buckinghamshire no visible
Northampton Town Wall Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough no visible
Norwich City Wall and Cow Tower Norwici Norfolk major building
Nottingham Town Wall Chapel Bar; Cowlane Bar; St John's Bar; Swine Bar Nottinghamshire masonry ruins/remnants
Oakham Town Defences Okeham Rutland no visible
Old Dashwood Hill Village Defences Fillington Wood medieval settlement Buckinghamshire earthwork
Old Sarum City Defences Wiltshire earthwork
Old Winchelsea Town Wall Winceleseia; Winchenesel; Winchelsay Sussex no visible
Orchard House, Wall Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Oswestry Town Wall de Alba Monasterio; Osolvestre; Osewaldestre; Oswaldestre; Croes Oswald; Beatrice Gate; New Gate; Black Gate; Williow Gate Shropshire no visible
Oversley Village Defences Warwickshire earthwork
Oxford Town Wall Martyrs Tower Oxfordshire masonry ruins/remnants
Peartree Cottages, Wall St Oswalds Cottages Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Penrhyn, Wall Northumberland major building
Penrith Town Wall Penereth Cumberland no visible
Pirton Village Defences Hertfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Pleshey Town Defences Essex earthwork
Plymouth Town Wall Sutton Pryour; Plymmuth Devonshire no visible
Pontesbury Village Defences Shropshire no visible
Poole Town Wall Dorset masonry ruins/remnants
Portchester Burghal Defences Porchester Hampshire and the Isle of Wight major building
Portsmouth Town Defences Hampshire and the Isle of Wight earthwork
Rayleigh Town Defences Essex no visible
Richards Castle Village Defences Auretone; Averetone; Avretone; Overton Herefordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Richmond Town Wall The Bargate; The Bar Yorkshire masonry ruins/remnants
Rochester City Wall Kent masonry ruins/remnants
Runcorn Urban Defences Runkhorn; Runcolan; Castle Rock Cheshire no visible
Rye Town Wall Ria; Rya; Landgate; Land Gate Sussex major building
Rye Ypres Tower Baddings Tower; Ria; Rya; Ipres; Wipers Tower; la Rie Sussex major building
Saffron Walden Town Defences Repell Ditches, Battle Ditches; Magnum Fossatum Essex cropmark/slight earthwork
Salisbury City Defences Novae Sarum Wiltshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Sandwich Town Wall and Great Bulwark Kent masonry ruins/remnants
Scarborough Town Wall Awburgh; Newburgh Yorkshire no visible
Shaftesbury Town Defences Sceaftesbyrig Dorset no visible
Shamlord Peel Shamelhorde; Shamblord; Shamblers Hampshire and the Isle of Wight no visible
Shrewsbury Town Wall Shropshire masonry ruins/remnants
Skelton Village Defences Yorkshire earthwork
Skipsea Brough Defences Yorkshire earthwork
Southampton Town Wall, Bargate and Gods House Tower Suthampton; South Castle; The Spur; Millhouse; Bargate; Polymond Tower; Arundel Tower; Windwhistle Tower; Prince Edward Tower; Catchcold Tower Hampshire and the Isle of Wight major building
Southwark Town Defences Suthriganageweorce Surrey no visible
St Albans Town Defences Monk Ditch Hertfordshire no visible
St Augustines, Shrewsbury Sancti Augustini de Salop Shropshire no visible
St Ives; The Island The Castle; The Bulwarks Cornwall uncertain
St Oswalds Cottages, Wall Northumberland major building
St. Michael at the Northgate Tower Oxfordshire masonry ruins/remnants
Stable Cottages, Wall Northumberland masonry ruins/remnants
Stafford Town Defences Staffordie; East Gate; Green Gate; North Gate; Goal Gate; West Gate Staffordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Staines Town Defences Penton Ditch Surrey no visible
Stamford Town Wall Stanford; Staunford Lincolnshire masonry ruins/remnants
Stockport Town Wall Great Underbank Cheshire no visible
Stonehouse Town Defences Stone Manor, East Stonehouse; Estonehouse Devonshire masonry ruins/remnants
Swavesey Town Defences Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely cropmark/slight earthwork
Tadcaster Town Defences Yorkshire no visible
Tamworth town defences Walfurlong; 'Offa's Dyke'; King's Ditches Staffordshire no visible
Taunton Town Defences East Overton, Borough Bank Somerset earthwork
Teignmouth Town Wall Devonshire no visible
Temple Sowerby Village Westmorland major building
The Barbican and other London watch towers Barbacan; Burhkenning; Barbecanna London and Middlesex no visible
Therfield Village Defences Hertfordshire earthwork
Thetford Town Defences Norfolk cropmark/slight earthwork
Thurleigh Village Defence Bedfordshire earthwork
Tickhill Town Defences Yorkshire no visible
Tilbury Town Defences Essex no visible
Tonbridge Town Defences Tonebrugg Kent cropmark/slight earthwork
Totnes Town Wall Totonia Devonshire masonry ruins/remnants
Tower in the Thames Friars Preachers London and Middlesex no visible
Trematon Town Defenses Cornwall major building
Tutbury Town Defences Iron Walls Staffordshire no visible
Wakefield Town Defences Yorkshire no visible
Wallingford Town Defences Berkshire earthwork
Wareham Town Defences Werham Dorset earthwork
Wark on Tweed Village Defences Northumberland cropmark/slight earthwork
Warkworth Town Walls Northumberland no visible
Warwick Town Wall Eastgate; Westgate Warwickshire masonry ruins/remnants
Wellow Village Defences Gorge Dyke; George Dyke Nottinghamshire earthwork
West Felton village enclosure Shropshire earthwork
Whitchurch Town Defences Shropshire no visible
Whorlton Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire earthwork
Wilton Town Defences Castle Mead Wiltshire uncertain
Winchcombe Town Defences Winchcomb Gloucestershire cropmark/slight earthwork
Winchester City Wall Kings Gate; West Gate Hampshire and the Isle of Wight major building
Witham Town Defences Wulvesford; Withambury; Burgate Field; Rivenhall End; Chippinghill; Clipping Hill Camp Essex uncertain
Woodstock Town Defences Oxfordshire no visible
Worcester City Wall Worcestershire masonry footings
Yarmouth Town Defenses Hampshire and the Isle of Wight no visible
York Abbey St Marys Abbey; The Kings Manor Yorkshire major building
York City Wall Bootham Bar; Micklegate Bar; Walmgate Bar; Fishergate Bar; Monk Bar; Castlegate Postern; Fishergate Postern; Layerthorpe Postern; Skeldergate Postern Yorkshire major building
Arlesey Village Defence Etonbury Bedfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Ashperton Village Defences Herefordshire no visible
Bakewell Burh Derbyshire no visible
Bamburgh Town Defences Northumberland no visible
Barwick in Elmet Burgus Enclosure Wendel Hill Yorkshire earthwork
Beeston Castle Castle of the Rock; Castle de Rupe Cheshire masonry ruins/remnants
Benington Village Defences Bennington Hertfordshire earthwork
Bishopton village enclosure Durham earthwork
Bletsoe Village Defence Bedfordshire no visible
Bourne Village Defences Lincolnshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Brackley Town Walls Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough no visible
Bradford on Avon Town Defences Wiltshire no visible
Bridport Chantry Dungeness Dorset major building
Buckingham Town Defences Bourton Buckinghamshire no visible
Cainhoe Village Defences Bedfordshire earthwork
Caistor Town Defences Castor; Castre Lincolnshire no visible
Castle Church Village Defences Monetvile; Castlechurch Staffordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Castle Rising town defences Risinge Norfolk uncertain
Charmouth Town Defences Dorset cropmark/slight earthwork
Cissbury Ring Burh Cissbury Knot Sussex earthwork
Clifford Town Defences Herefordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Cublington Village Enclosure Buckinghamshire earthwork
Daws Castle, Watchet Weced; Dart's Castle; Danes' Castle Somerset earthwork
Down End town defences Downend Somerset uncertain
Dunster Town Wall Somerset no visible
East Looe Cornwall no visible
Ellesmere Town Defences Shropshire no visible
Fastendich, Stokenchurch Pilsedich Buckinghamshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Godmanchester town defences Huntingdonshire no visible
Grantham Town Defences Lincolnshire no visible
Great Ilford Lavender Mount Uphall Camp Essex cropmark/slight earthwork
Great Orton Dyke Barrass Gate; Ringfence Cumberland cropmark/slight earthwork
Great Wolford Village Ditch Warwickshire earthwork
Halesowen Town Gates Worcestershire no visible
Henley in Arden Town Gates Warwickshire no visible
Higham Ferrers Town Defences Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough no visible
Ilfracombe Town Wall Ilfredecombe Devonshire no visible
Kempsey Village Banks Worcestershire earthwork
Kingerby Village Defences Lincolnshire earthwork
Kingsbridge Town Defences Devonshire no visible
Kingsbury Castle, St Albans Castro de Kyngsbury; Kyngisbiri Hertfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Lancaster Town Wall Lancashire cropmark/slight earthwork
Leintwardine Town Defences Herefordshire earthwork
Lymington Town Defences Hampshire and the Isle of Wight no visible
Marholm Rampart Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough cropmark/slight earthwork
Melcombe Regis Town Wall Melcoumbe; Miltoun Dorset no visible
Middleham Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire no visible
Mount Caburn Camp, Glynde Sussex earthwork
Nether Worton village enclosure Oxfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Newbury Town Defences Berkshire no visible
Newent Town Defences Gloucestershire cropmark/slight earthwork
Newport Castle, Essex Wigingamere Essex no visible
Newton Underwood Tower, Meldon Old Walls Northumberland masonry footings
Northallerton Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire no visible
Old Skegness Town Defences Lincolnshire no visible
Oldaport Fort Yoldeporte; La Porte in parochia de Modbury Devonshire masonry ruins/remnants
Pershore Town Defences Worcestershire no visible
Peterborough Abbey Precinct and Burh Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough major building
Pevensey Town Defences Pefenesea; Pevensye; Anderida; Anderitum Sussex uncertain
Pontefract Town Defences Tanshelf Yorkshire no visible
Queenborough Town Defences Kent no visible
Ravenser Odd Ravensere; Ald Ravenser; Ravensburgh; Ravensspurn Yorkshire no visible
Repton Village Defences Derbyshire no visible
Ripon Town Defences Yorkshire no visible
Rougemont Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire earthwork
Salkeld Dyke Cumberland no visible
Sheffield Castle Dykes Yorkshire no visible
Shelswell Oxfordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Skipton Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire no visible
Southwold Town Defences Suwald Suffolk no visible
St Andrews Castle St Andrews Point; Hamble Castle Hampshire and the Isle of Wight masonry footings
Stourbridge Town Gates Heath Gate Worcestershire no visible
Stow on the Wold Town Defences Maethelgeres Byrig Gloucestershire cropmark/slight earthwork
Sudbury Town Defences Suffolk no visible
Tempsford Town Defences Bedfordshire no visible
Tetbury Town Defences Gloucestershire cropmark/slight earthwork
Tewkesbury Town Gates Gloucestershire no visible
The Yoder Yoden; Quarry Hills Durham earthwork
Thelwall Town Defences Thelwella; Thidewell; Thelowell; Tolwell Cheshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Thirsk Burgus Enclosure Yorkshire no visible
Totternhoe Village Defence Bedfordshire uncertain
Towcester Town Defences Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough earthwork
Trowbridge Town Defences Straburg Wiltshire uncertain
Wells City Wall Welles Somerset no visible
Wem Town Defences Shropshire no visible
Weobley Town defences Wibelay Herefordshire earthwork
Weymouth Town Defences Dorset no visible
Whittington Village Defence Shropshire earthwork
Wigmore Town Defences Herefordshire cropmark/slight earthwork
Witney Town Defences Cogges Oxfordshire no visible
Wolverhampton town defences Staffordshire no visible
Yielden Village Defences Yelden; Yeldon; Giuelden; Yielding Bedfordshire earthwork

This listing was last updated on Friday, April 10, 2015

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