Ancient Monuments

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Small multivallate hillfort called Tregeare Rounds

A Scheduled Monument in St. Kew, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5868 / 50°35'12"N

Longitude: -4.7794 / 4°46'45"W

OS Eastings: 203347.510854

OS Northings: 80032.410729

OS Grid: SX033800

Mapcode National: GBR N0.D85F

Mapcode Global: FRA 07WJ.1TY

Entry Name: Small multivallate hillfort called Tregeare Rounds

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006662

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 186

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Kew

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Kew

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort, situated on a gentle upper slope of a prominent ridge, overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Allen. The hillfort survives as an almost circular inner enclosure measuring up to 90m in diameter internally. It is defined by a slight rampart and outer ditch with a second concentric enclosure of approximately 120m in diameter internally defined by a more prominent rampart and ditch and with a further curving outwork to the south and east preserved as a low scarp. The total area covered by the hillfort is approximately 2.7ha. The inner enclosure has a bank which measures 2m high on average, and the ditch is up to 1.7m deep. The outer enclosure has a rampart of up to 3m high and a 1.7m deep ditch. On the north west side a post medieval hull, or underground storage chamber, which measures 15m long and 1.7m high was constructed into the rampart bank accessed from the ditch. A hollow way leads towards the entrance in the south east outwork. Partial excavation by S Baring Gould in 1902 showed human occupation to be limited to the area between the two ramparts. The finds reported from the excavation consisted mainly of sling stones, perforated stones, spindle whorls and Iron Age pottery. The inner enclosure was used chiefly as an animal pound.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-432055

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 appear as 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. They are a rare monument class and are important for understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period. Despite partial early excavation, the small multivallate hillfort called Tregeare Rounds survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, function, longevity, social and territorial significance, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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