Ancient Monuments

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Deserted medieval settlement with 16th and 18th century structures 85m west of West Lanyon Quoit

A Scheduled Monument in Madron, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1479 / 50°8'52"N

Longitude: -5.6096 / 5°36'34"W

OS Eastings: 142223.129927

OS Northings: 33772.316536

OS Grid: SW422337

Mapcode National: GBR DXJ9.39P

Mapcode Global: VH058.QK90

Entry Name: Deserted medieval settlement with 16th and 18th century structures 85m west of West Lanyon Quoit

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1958

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003084

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 489

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Madron

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Madron

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a deserted medieval settlement, re-used in the 16th and 18th centuries, situated on the lower south west facing slopes of a ridge overlooking the Lamorna River. The settlement survives as a series of walls standing to 1.4m high forming at least four rectangular buildings and various ancillary structures, enclosures and plots. Excavations by Cornwall Archaeological Society in 1964 of 'Old Lanyon' revealed three separate phases of occupation from the 12th century to the 18th or 19th centuries. The first and second periods were characterised by a pair of parallel houses with their long axes east to west. The first period houses were constructed from thick walls of alternating courses of turf and stone with wattle facing and a row of posts to support the turf roof. These were replaced in the second period by two slightly larger stone built long houses with wooden partition walls forming the cross passages. The settlement was abandoned in the 14th century and the houses were re-used as farm buildings. During the 16th century a barn was built. After a second period of desertion an 18th century cottage and outbuildings were constructed on the foundations of the northern house. Finds from the excavations included pottery, whetstones, querns, socket stones, nails and horseshoes.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-424376

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Deserted medieval settlements are often visible as close groupings of small buildings, each containing a long house, its ancillary buildings and one or more adjacent small plots which served as kitchen gardens or stock pens. These components are arranged within the settlement around internal yards and trackways which led from the settlement to its associated fields, pasture and water supply. Occasionally such trackways show evidence for cobbling or paving. Long houses were the dominant type of farmhouse in upland settlements of south-west England between the 10th and 16th centuries. Rectangular in plan, usually with rubble or boulder outer walls and their long axis orientated down slope, the interiors of long houses were divided into two separate functional areas, an upslope domestic room and a downslope stock byre, known in south-west England as a shippon. The proportions of the plan occupied by the domestic room and the shippon vary considerably but the division between the two was usually provided by a cross passage of timber screens or rubble walling running transversely through the long house, linking opposed openings in the long side walls.
Ancillary buildings were generally separated from the farmhouse itself, or else constructed as outshuts attached to the long house and often extending one end. These additional structures served as barns, fuel or equipment stores and occasionally contained ovens and corn-drying kilns. While many settlements in Cornwall are known from documentary sources to be of medieval origin, well- preserved deserted sites are rare. Although much is already known about the deserted medieval settlement with 16th and 18th century structures 85m west of West Lanyon Quoit as a result of excavation, it will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to farming practices and its overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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