Ancient Monuments

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Round called Castle Gotha

A Scheduled Monument in Pentewan Valley, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3137 / 50°18'49"N

Longitude: -4.7716 / 4°46'17"W

OS Eastings: 202763.093228

OS Northings: 49646.200617

OS Grid: SX027496

Mapcode National: GBR N0.YQ4M

Mapcode Global: FRA 08W6.JW8

Entry Name: Round called Castle Gotha

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1950

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006695

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 130

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Pentewan Valley

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Austell

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a round situated on an upland coastal ridge, overlooking Gwendra Point in St Austell Bay. The round survives as an oval enclosure measuring approximately 109m long by 97m wide, defined by a rampart and outer ditch which are visible as earthworks to the south, as slighter banks or scarps to the north and east, and as buried features elsewhere. The name 'Castle Gotha' was first recorded in 1296 and means 'fort of the geese'. Between 1957 and 1962 excavations were undertaken to examine the defences and sample parts of the interior. The evidence from these excavations demonstrated its occupation from the 2nd to 1st century BC up until the 2nd century AD with pre-enclosure Bronze Age activity evident beneath the rampart. There was intensive occupation in the central and southern areas. Industrial activity, in the form of bronze and iron working, was concentrated around an oval structure, the latest prehistoric building on the site in the north east, and may have been associated with a causeway across the ditch. A rectangular structure, which cut into an earlier hut circle, was thought to reflect medieval re-use. Finds from the excavations included a metal mould, pottery including a sherd of Samian ware, spindle whorls, stone rubbers, quern fragments, limpet shells, a brooch pin, a stylised bronze male head, scraps of bronze and a pebble of stream tin.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-431072

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Rounds are small embanked enclosures, one of a range of settlement types dating to between the later Iron Age and the early post-Roman period. Usually circular or oval, they have a single earth and rubble bank and an outer ditch, with one entrance breaking the circuit. Excavations have produced drystone supporting walls within the bank, paved or cobbled entrance ways, post built gate structures, and remains of timber, turf or stone built houses of oval or rectangular plan, often set around the inner edge of the enclosing bank. Other evidence includes hearths, drains, gullies, pits and rubbish middens. Evidence for industrial activities has been recovered from some sites, including small scale metal working and, among the domestic debris, items traded from distant sources. Some rounds are associated with secondary enclosures, either abutting the round as an annexe or forming an additional enclosure. Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlements, the equivalents of farming hamlets. They were replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th century AD. Over 750 rounds are recorded in the British Isles, occurring in areas bordering the Irish Seas, but confined in England to south west Devon and especially Cornwall, where many more examples may await discovery. Most recorded examples are sited on hillslopes and spurs. Rounds are important as one of the major sources of information on settlement and social organisation of the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west England. Despite reduction in the height of the defences and disturbance to the interior through cultivation and partial excavation, the round called Castle Gotha will still contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, domestic arrangements, industrial activity, agricultural practices, trade, social organisation and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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