Ancient Monuments

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Small multivallate hillfort on Bury Down, 530m north-east of South Park

A Scheduled Monument in Lanreath, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4072 / 50°24'26"N

Longitude: -4.5509 / 4°33'3"W

OS Eastings: 218833.915366

OS Northings: 59482.389026

OS Grid: SX188594

Mapcode National: GBR NB.RLW3

Mapcode Global: FRA 17CZ.6VG

Entry Name: Small multivallate hillfort on Bury Down, 530m north-east of South Park

Scheduled Date: 5 October 1932

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006635

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 258

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Lanreath

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Lanreath

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort, situated close to the summit of a prominent ridge called Bury Down, which forms the watershed between the River Fowey and the West Looe River. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure defined by two widely spaced largely concentric ramparts with outer ditches. The outer rampart measures up to 1m high, and the shallow outer ditch is preserved as a largely buried feature. The inner rampart measures up to 2m high and ditch is up to 2m deep. There is a wide entrance to the west and a narrow entrance to the east.

The outer rampart and ditch are crossed by field boundaries to the east and south; these are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-432087

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, which either simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. Small multivallate hillforts are rare and are important for understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period. Despite some reduction in the height of the earthworks through past cultivation and as a result of recent consolidation work, the small multivallate hillfort on Bury Down, 530m north east of South Park survives well, is one of a rare type of monument class and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, trade and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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