Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 250m north of Higher Trenower

A Scheduled Monument in Manaccan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0717 / 50°4'18"N

Longitude: -5.1461 / 5°8'45"W

OS Eastings: 174971.627174

OS Northings: 23807.519886

OS Grid: SW749238

Mapcode National: GBR Z9.0MC4

Mapcode Global: FRA 083T.GZH

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 250m north of Higher Trenower

Scheduled Date: 28 June 1972

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004428

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 434

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Manaccan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Manaccan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated at the summit of a prominent ridge which forms the watershed between two unnamed tributaries to the Helford River. The settlement survives as a rectangular enclosure. It is defined by a rampart up to 1.2m high externally with a 0.4m deep partially buried outer ditch, a counterscarp bank to the north, east and south east and a simple southern entrance.
In 1803, Polwhele described the foundations of a circular watchtower or windmill, in the north eastern corner of the enclosure as having been 'recently removed'. The field is locally known as 'Windmill Field'.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-427428 and 427546

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 heights of the ramparts through cultivation and the construction of a windmill in the interior, the Iron Age defended settlement 250m north of Higher Trenower survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, function, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, re-use and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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