Ancient Monuments

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Godrevy Headland - complex of prehistoric sites

A Scheduled Monument in Gwinear-Gwithian, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.239 / 50°14'20"N

Longitude: -5.393 / 5°23'34"W

OS Eastings: 158158.296447

OS Northings: 43178.044511

OS Grid: SW581431

Mapcode National: GBR FX21.LJ1

Mapcode Global: VH12G.G8T3

Entry Name: Godrevy Headland - complex of prehistoric sites

Scheduled Date: 27 July 1971

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004260

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 772

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Gwinear-Gwithian

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Phillack

Church of England Diocese: Truro


Bowl barrow, prehistoric and medieval field systems 340m north west of Godrevy Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 8 December 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a bowl barrow and both prehistoric and medieval field systems situated on the headland terminating at Godrevy Point. The prehistoric field system survives as traces of small rectangular fields formed by lynchets spread across the headland and thought to be associated with a nearby Romano British settlement known as ‘Gwithian’. Particularly to the south of the headland medieval strip fields are seen to overlie the earlier prehistoric field system. They survive as a series of banks, ditches and lynchets with at least three phases of layout having been identified and some of the lynchets are standing up to 1.5m high. To the north and within the prehistoric field system is a bowl barrow which survives as a circular mound measuring up to 18m in diameter and 0.9m high the surrounding quarry ditch from which construction material was derived is preserved as a buried feature. There is a trench across the middle of the barrow. Three flint working sites were found during excavations carried out on the headland from 1949 -59. An abutting linear defensive earthwork to the south and east is scheduled separately.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Well preserved prehistoric field systems are rare nationally. They provide important evidence of a carefully planned organisation of landscape and definition of landholdings as well as archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their use. For arable fields there may be evidence for such features as plough and spade marks indicating the available agricultural technologies employed and environmental data concerning the types of crops which were grown. For other fields, the types of animals which were reared and the techniques which were employed by the farmers may also be evident. Environmental evidence may also indicate fluctuations in climatic conditions which may have been significant in more marginal areas. The same is also true of medieval field systems although these are found more commonly. However, in some instances such as with the bowl barrow, three flint working sites and prehistoric and medieval field systems 340m north west of Godrevy Farm there is a palimpsest of types of different types of monument related to different periods. These reflect not only changes in agricultural technology and type but also the social organisation of the land. The presence of ritual sites such as bowl barrows, the Bronze Age burial mounds have long been associated with some territorial significance as is the definition of land into specific fields. The continuous usage and changes on this headland indicate its significance for agriculture through time.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-425127 and 425128

Source: Historic England

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