The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Allesley Ringwork

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Allesley.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Coventry.
1974 county of West Midlands.
Medieval County of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP29918005
Latitude 52.41769° Longitude -1.56172°

Allesley Ringwork has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


'At Allesley there is a ring earthwork, which is pointed out as a castle and may be another of the same kind as Castle Hills, Fillongley.' Dugdale says: 'Upon the brow of an hill, in the Park here at Allesley, do appear some ruins of buildings, which as the inhabitants say, were of a Castle; but in record I cannot find, that it was ever so termed.' Presumably it is to this earthwork he refers, though to day there is no trace of a building. The earthworks consist of a circular platform about 150 ft. across surrounded by a dry ditch 5 or 6 ft. deep, the excavated soil from which was thrown up on the outside forming a bank about 4 ft. high for about two thirds of its circumference. The whole site is thickly covered with large trees and it is difficult to observe the detail of the earthwork (Chatwin). A circular castle mound surrounded by the remains of a moat with an outer rampart to the south. Generally as described above. The surface of the mound is rather uneven but there is no definite trace of an encircling rampart. Of the ruins, referred to by Dugdale, no remains now exist although many small fragments of sandstone are scattered on the surface of the mound. The mound has been dug into on the north, and a brick retaining wall constructed. The moat is now dry. General condition poor and much overgrown. (PastScape)

The castle mound…is a substantial circular earthwork motte measuring 50m in diameter and surrounded by a 15m wide ditch. There is no documentary evidence as to who built it and when and no archaeological work has ever been carried out at the site. It is likely that it pre-dates the establishment of the park (MCT2191) and one theory is that it was an illegally built fortification, constructed without permission of the king, dating from the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the 1140s. This would have meant that it was perhaps short-lived and therefore explain why it does not appear in documents…Local historians have keenly debated whether or not the Castle Mound was a genuine castle but most agree that the Manor House and home farm of the Lords of the Manor was sited within what later became the park. A survey of the Manor of Allesley conducted in 1387 records what appears to be a manorial complex consisting of several buildings including a chapel which has fallen into disrepair…it is thought that these buildings were situated on or in the vicinity of the Castle Mound as the description of buildings being 'with in' or 'beyond the bounds' suggests the presence of a moat. The survey also records a stone dovecote which may be the predecessor of the one that survives today close to Allesley Hall. The presence of a dovecote confirms that it would have been a residence of someone of significant status, as the keeping of doves was restricted to aristocracy in the medieval period…The Manor House in the park described as ruinous in 1387 is thought to have been rebuilt in the early post-medieval period, as there are several documentary references to it from the 16th and 17th centuries. However, by 1650 the Manor House appears to have fallen on hard times again…By 1663 Allesley Park along with the Lordship of the Manor had been bought by Thomas Flynt who built a new house, which probably stood where the present Allesley Hall now stands. (Coventry HER ref. Chistopher, 2009)

The site is not on the brow of the hill but slightly below the brow on the false visual crest as viewed from Allesley Church and Hall; is is overlooked from the south. The suggestion of an Anarchy date is speculative and should be taken with caution.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact