Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Courtyard house 280m north west of Middle Carnaquidden

A Scheduled Monument in Madron, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1651 / 50°9'54"N

Longitude: -5.5495 / 5°32'58"W

OS Eastings: 146608.794388

OS Northings: 35483.894556

OS Grid: SW466354

Mapcode National: GBR DXP7.LV5

Mapcode Global: VH059.R3KR

Entry Name: Courtyard house 280m north west of Middle Carnaquidden

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004353

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 659

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 lower southern slopes of Carnaquidden Downs. The courtyard house survives as circular courtyard, defined by a stone built wall of up to 1.3m high. It has an attached round room defined by a platform of up to 0.7m high with a partial outer bank.
Some archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of a separate scheduling.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-423377

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 being of relatively simple plan, the courtyard house 280m north west of Middle Carnaquidden survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices, social organisation, longevity and overall landscape context

Source: Historic England

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