Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 500m north west of Higher Trevinnick

A Scheduled Monument in St. Endellion, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5744 / 50°34'27"N

Longitude: -4.8146 / 4°48'52"W

OS Eastings: 200800.939673

OS Northings: 78745.106208

OS Grid: SX008787

Mapcode National: GBR ZV.HYFK

Mapcode Global: FRA 07TK.03V

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 500m north west of Higher Trevinnick

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006661

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 185

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Endellion

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Kew

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on the upper north eastern slopes of a ridge forming the watershed between a tributary to the River Camel and an unnamed river leading to Port Isaac. The settlement survives as a rectangular enclosure defined by a low rampart and largely buried outer ditch of up to 0.7m deep. There is an entrance on the east side. Partial excavations by Fox and Ravenhill in the late-1960's showed the interior to have been artificially levelled. It had a clay-built rampart and some interior features interpreted as stock pens or possible hut circles. Finds from the settlement included pottery, a spindle whorl and a pounder. It appeared to be a predominantly agricultural settlement. Crop marks of field boundaries have been identified both within and outside the enclosed area.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-431661

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 height of the rampart through past cultivation and partial excavation, the Iron Age defended settlement 500m north west of Higher Trevinnick survives comparatively well and is one of a rare group of monuments it will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, development, territorial significance, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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