Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 170m north west of Cargurra

A Scheduled Monument in St. Juliot, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6976 / 50°41'51"N

Longitude: -4.6484 / 4°38'54"W

OS Eastings: 213062.090205

OS Northings: 92011.184541

OS Grid: SX130920

Mapcode National: GBR N5.5CT6

Mapcode Global: FRA 1747.JVK

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 170m north west of Cargurra

Scheduled Date: 17 April 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005436

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 947

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Juliot

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Otterham, Saint Juliot and Lesnewth

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on a south-facing slope of a wide coastal ridge, overlooking the valley of the River Valency. The settlement survives as an oval enclosure defined by an inner rampart bank of up to 10m wide and 0.6m high with a buried outer ditch. A concentric outer bank has been largely incorporated into field boundaries and is surrounded by a buried outer ditch.

The first record of the place name 'Cargurra', which is derived from the Cornish 'Ker' meaning fort or round, is in 1318. The settlement stands in a field called 'Berry Ring' on the Tithe Map and is also mentioned as a defensive enclosure with two or more lines of entrenchment in the Victoria County History. It is known locally as 'Cargurra Camp'.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-434734

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. The Iron Age defended settlement 170m north west of Cargurra survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, territorial significance, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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