Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round on Berry Down

A Scheduled Monument in Sheviock, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3764 / 50°22'35"N

Longitude: -4.2851 / 4°17'6"W

OS Eastings: 237612.698421

OS Northings: 55442.77373

OS Grid: SX376554

Mapcode National: GBR NP.TP4V

Mapcode Global: FRA 18X1.NDC

Entry Name: Round on Berry Down

Scheduled Date: 7 November 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003094

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 613

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Sheviock

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Sheviock

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a round, situated on the upper slopes of a prominent hill called Berry Down, overlooking the estuary of the St Germans or Lynher River. The round survives as a circular enclosure, defined to the south by a bank, which is partially incorporated into field boundaries. The bank measures up to 8m wide and 2.4m high, with traces of an outer ditch to the south west. Elsewhere it survives as buried features.
The round was described in correspondence in 1852 as a 'circular entrenchment'.
The field boundary is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath is included.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-436609

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 on Berry Down survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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