Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement immediately south east of Boskennal Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Buryan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.07 / 50°4'12"N

Longitude: -5.6126 / 5°36'45"W

OS Eastings: 141588.123735

OS Northings: 25130.234939

OS Grid: SW415251

Mapcode National: GBR DXJH.FX5

Mapcode Global: VH05N.NHPP

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement immediately south east of Boskennal Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1953

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004483

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 373

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Buryan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Buryan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on a level plateau, overlooking the valley of an unnamed river leading to St Loy. The settlement survives as entirely buried features and deposits with no visible surface earthworks. It includes a roughly-rectangular enclosure measuring approximately 128m long by 99m wide with faint traces of internal structures with a smaller second enclosure to the north. A watching brief was carried out prior to the construction of an agricultural building on the northern edge of the monument, but no features were observed. The settlement was first observed as a crop mark on aerial photographs taken in 1946.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-422699

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 disturbance through cultivation, the Iron Age defended settlement immediately south east of Boskennal Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, date, development, agricultural practices, social organisation, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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