Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 460m south east of Caer Bran Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Sancreed, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1045 / 50°6'16"N

Longitude: -5.6248 / 5°37'29"W

OS Eastings: 140904.063268

OS Northings: 29010.506833

OS Grid: SW409290

Mapcode National: GBR DXHD.NBJ

Mapcode Global: VH05G.GM8Q

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 460m south east of Caer Bran Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004289

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 755

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Sancreed

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Sancreed

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on the upper eastern slopes of a prominent hill known as Caer Bran. The settlement survives as an oval enclosure, measuring up to 40m long by 33m wide internally. It is defined by a rampart and partially-buried outer ditch enclosing a roughly circular interior platform measuring up to 10.9m in diameter and 0.4m high. The ditch is most visible on the north and west sides. There is a possible original entrance to the NNW which has been blocked and a possible second entrance to the south east. The ramparts are of stone and earth construction with possible external stone facing. A central feature within the enclosure has been interpreted as a hut circle.

Dudley in 1953 was the first to note the antiquity of this monument, although she felt it was a henge containing a hut, and Russell suggested it was a round with a barrow inside.

Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-422260

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. Despite cultivation of the interior, the Iron Age defended settlement 460m south east of Caer Bran Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, agricultural practices and domestic arrangements.

Source: Historic England

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