Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round called Rings Camp

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5748 / 50°34'29"N

Longitude: -4.4169 / 4°25'0"W

OS Eastings: 228959.496436

OS Northings: 77797.788965

OS Grid: SX289777

Mapcode National: GBR NH.F59K

Mapcode Global: FRA 17MK.51H

Entry Name: Round called Rings Camp

Scheduled Date: 16 March 1955

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003075

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 408

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: North Hill

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: North Hill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a round, situated on the summit of a prominent ridge forming the watershed between the Rivers Inny and Lynher. The round survives as a roughly circular enclosure measuring up to 120m in diameter internally defined by a rampart preserved as a wide scarp slope measuring up to 15m wide and 1m high on all except the north western side, where it has been incorporated into a field boundary and forms a substantial bank and by a slight bank above the scarp to the south. The surrounding ditch is preserved as a buried feature.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-435162

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Rounds are small embanked enclosures, one of a range of settlement types dating to between the later Iron Age and the early post-Roman period. Usually circular or oval, they have a single earth and rubble bank and an outer ditch, with one entrance breaking the circuit. Excavations have produced drystone supporting walls within the bank, paved or cobbled entrance ways, post built gate structures, and remains of timber, turf or stone built houses of oval or rectangular plan, often set around the inner edge of the enclosing bank. Other evidence includes hearths, drains, gullies, pits and rubbish middens. Evidence for industrial activities has been recovered from some sites, including small scale metal working and, among the domestic debris, items traded from distant sources. Some rounds are associated with secondary enclosures, either abutting the round as an annexe or forming an additional enclosure. Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlements, the equivalents of farming hamlets. They were replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th century AD. Over 750 rounds are recorded in the British Isles, occurring in areas bordering the Irish Seas, but confined in England to south west Devon and especially Cornwall. Most recorded examples are sited on hillslopes and spurs. Rounds are important as one of the major sources of information on settlement and social organisation of the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west England. Despite reduction in the height of the earthworks through past cultivation, the round called Rings Camp survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social organisation, territorial significance, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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