Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 425m west of Trebray

A Scheduled Monument in Altarnun, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6148 / 50°36'53"N

Longitude: -4.5589 / 4°33'32"W

OS Eastings: 219061.558859

OS Northings: 82578.384374

OS Grid: SX190825

Mapcode National: GBR N9.BQS9

Mapcode Global: FRA 17BF.XC6

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 425m west of Trebray

Scheduled Date: 20 June 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004240

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 862

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on the steep north-facing slopes of Bray Down, overlooking the Penpont Water. The settlement survives as an irregularly-shaped enclosure defined by a rampart bank of up to 6m wide and 1.7m high with a partially buried outer ditch. Both the rampart and ditch survive differentially according to the natural steepness of the slope on which they were constructed. There is a simple entrance to the north east.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-434227

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. The Iron Age defended settlement 425m west of Trebray survives well and will include archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, agricultural practices, territorial significance, possible re-use, social organisation, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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