Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 800m north of Lymsworthy Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kilkhampton, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.8741 / 50°52'26"N

Longitude: -4.4632 / 4°27'47"W

OS Eastings: 226789.570676

OS Northings: 111180.928455

OS Grid: SS267111

Mapcode National: GBR K5.TC4N

Mapcode Global: FRA 16JS.R00

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 800m north of Lymsworthy Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1957

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004427

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 433

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Kilkhampton

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Kilkhampton

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated at the eastern end of a ridge, overlooking the valley of a tributary to the Lamberal Water. The settlement survives as an approximately 60m square enclosure with rounded corners. It is defined by an upstanding rampart of up to 1.2m high externally with a 4m wide partially-buried outer ditch and a 0.6m high counterscarp bank to the north. Elsewhere the counterscarp survives as a scarped platform of up to 0.8m high with the ditch surviving as a buried feature. The eastern side has been partly cut by later quarrying which has been subsequently backfilled. The settlement is known locally as 'Abbery Camp'.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-32171

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 reduction in the height of the ramparts through cultivation, the Iron Age defended settlement 800m north of Lymsworthy Farm survives comparatively well and seems to indicate a change to a more Romanised square-shaped plan. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, function, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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