A ringwork is a form of fortified defensive structure, usually circular or oval in shape. Ringworks are essentially motte-and-bailey castles minus the motte. Defences were usually earthworks in the form of a ditch and bank surrounding the site.
Ringworks originated in Germany in the 10th century as an early form of medieval castle and at first were little more than a fortified manor house. They appeared in England just prior to the Norman conquest and large numbers were built during the late 11th and early 12th centuries. More elaborate versions comprise a ringwork and bailey, the ringwork replacing the more usual motte and the bailey acting as a military stronghold.
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- King, David James Cathcart; Alcock, Leslie (1969). "Ringworks of England and Wales". pp. 90–127. http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/Books/booktext/REWDKLA.html.
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