Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Courtyard house 150m north east of Trye Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Madron, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1644 / 50°9'51"N

Longitude: -5.5567 / 5°33'24"W

OS Eastings: 146086.179662

OS Northings: 35429.526309

OS Grid: SW460354

Mapcode National: GBR DXN7.X2R

Mapcode Global: VH059.M4Q9

Entry Name: Courtyard house 150m north east of Trye Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004352

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 657

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Madron

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Gulval

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a courtyard house, situated on the south-facing slopes of a ridge, forming the watershed between the Trevaylor Stream and an unnamed stream to the east. The courtyard house survives as a single circular central courtyard with at least one chamber to the north. It is defined by stone-built walls standing up to 1m high, with a probable entrance to the south and a further possible chamber to the east. The northern side has been disturbed by a later field boundary.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-423402

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The courtyard house is a building form developed in south west England in the Roman period during the second to fourth centuries AD. It was usually oval or curvilinear in shape, taking the form of a thick coursed rubble wall containing rooms and some storage chambers. A central area - the courtyard - was enclosed by this wall and the rooms and the main entrance opened into it.
The courtyard is generally considered to have remained unroofed. Excavations of courtyard houses have revealed paved and cobbled floors, stone partitions, slab-lined and slab-covered drains, threshold and door pivot stones and slab-lined hearths, together with artefactual debris. Excavations have also shown that some courtyard houses developed from earlier phases of timber and/or stone built round houses on the same site. Courtyard houses may occur singly or in groups of up to nine. The national distribution includes over 110 recorded courtyard houses, mostly on the Penwith peninsula at the western tip of Cornwall, with a single example on the Isles of Scilly. Courtyard houses are unique within the range of Romano- British settlement types, showing a highly localised adaptation to the windswept conditions of the far south west of England. Despite having been partially cut by a field boundary, the courtyard house 150m north east of Trye Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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