Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort called Cadson Bury

A Scheduled Monument in St. Mellion, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4828 / 50°28'58"N

Longitude: -4.3365 / 4°20'11"W

OS Eastings: 234331.334383

OS Northings: 67383.384017

OS Grid: SX343673

Mapcode National: GBR NM.LV8Q

Mapcode Global: FRA 17TS.6DL

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort called Cadson Bury

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1950

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004494

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 309

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Mellion

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Ive

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort, situated at and enclosing the summit of a prominent and very steep sided hill called Cadson Bury Down, overlooking the valley of the River Lynher. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure measuring approximately 275m long by 170m wide internally defined by a single rampart of up to 2m high internally with outer ditch of up to 1.3m deep. The interior of the hillfort is largely level and occupies a commanding defensive position. There are two inturned entrances to the east and west and a southern staggered breach may also be an original third entrance. Cadsonbury was first recorded in the 13th century, and its earliest depiction was on Martyn's map of 1748. It was described by Lysons in 1814.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-436704

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. They are important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. The slight univallate hillfort called Cadson Bury survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, social organisation, territorial significance, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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