Ancient Monuments

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Promontory fort at Chynalls Point

A Scheduled Monument in St. Keverne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.016 / 50°0'57"N

Longitude: -5.0926 / 5°5'33"W

OS Eastings: 178544.833167

OS Northings: 17453.476293

OS Grid: SW785174

Mapcode National: GBR ZC.S3FW

Mapcode Global: FRA 086Y.ZT9

Entry Name: Promontory fort at Chynalls Point

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003103

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 684

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Keverne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Keverne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a promontory fort, situated on the rocky coastal headland of Chynalls Point.
The fort survives as an irregularly-shaped enclosure defined by steep cliffs on all except the landward (western side) where the artificial defences of two rampart banks with an intermediate ditch cross the narrowest part of the headland. The outer bank is up to 1m high and the inner, with partial stone revetment is up to 2.6m high. The original entrance was probably at the centre of these ramparts.
The promontory fort was first recorded by Thomas.
During the Second World War a reinforced concrete pillbox manned by the Home Guard was erected at Chynalls Point overlooking the bay at Coverack.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-426482 and 1426448

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Promontory forts are a type of hillfort in which conspicuous naturally defended sites are adapted as enclosures by the construction of one or more earth or stone ramparts placed across the neck of a spur in order to divide it from the surrounding land. Coastal situations, using headlands defined by steep natural cliffs, are common while inland similar topographic settings defined by natural cliffs are also used. The ramparts and accompanying ditches formed the main artificial defence, but timber palisades may have been erected along the cliff edges. Access to the interior was generally provided by an entrance through the ramparts. The interior of the fort was used intensively for settlement and related activities, and evidence for timber- and stone- walled round houses can be expected, together with the remains of buildings used for storage and enclosures for animals. Promontory forts are generally Iron Age in date, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are broadly contemporary with other types of hillfort. They are regarded as settlements of high status, probably occupied on a permanent basis, and recent interpretations suggest that their construction and choice of location had as much to do with display as defence. Promontory forts are rare nationally with less than 100 recorded examples. They are important for understanding the nature of social organisation in the later prehistoric period. The promontory fort at Chynalls Point survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, re-use and overall landscape context

Source: Historic England

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