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Deserted medieval settlement 1125m WNW of Canaglaze

A Scheduled Monument in Altarnun, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6089 / 50°36'32"N

Longitude: -4.5693 / 4°34'9"W

OS Eastings: 218302.505151

OS Northings: 81952.548216

OS Grid: SX183819

Mapcode National: GBR N9.BVHD

Mapcode Global: FRA 179G.KNV

Entry Name: Deserted medieval settlement 1125m WNW of Canaglaze

Scheduled Date: 5 July 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007278

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 1047

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a deserted medieval settlement, situated close to the foot of the steep west facing slope of Bray Down. The settlement survives as a linear group of up to four long houses with adjacent garden plots and three ancillary buildings. Three of the long houses measure 13m long by 11m wide internally with walls up to 1.1m high. The fourth, to the south, is slightly smaller being 7.5m long by 3m wide. All the long houses have opposed entrances in the long walls, but only the northern one has a clearly defined cross wall at its eastern end. The three ancillary structures are levelled into the slope and are defined by walls of up to 1m high. One is free standing and two are attached to a garden wall. The garden plots are also defined by banks or scarps. The settlement lies on the edge of an extensive field system of rectilinear fields with some visible ridge and furrow.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-434293

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Over 30 deserted settlements retaining visible remains of medieval character are recorded on Bodmin Moor. Some of these are single abandoned farms but the majority are small hamlets containing between two and six farmhouses. Documentary evidence indicates that most of such settlements on the Moor were established between the 11th and mid-14th centuries AD. Although many of these settlements were deserted by the close of the medieval period, some were abandoned at a later period. Deserted medieval settlements are often visible as close groupings of small buildings, each containing a long house, its ancillary buildings and one or more adjacent small plots which served as kitchen gardens or stock pens. These components are arranged within the settlement around internal yards and trackways which led from the settlement to its associated fields, pasture and water supply. Long houses were the dominant type of farmhouse in upland settlements of south-west England between the 10th and 16th centuries. Rectangular in plan, usually with rubble or boulder outer walls and their long axis orientated downslope, the interiors of long houses were divided into two separate functional areas, an upslope domestic room and a downslope stock byre. The proportions of the plan occupied by the domestic room and the byre vary considerably but the division between the two was usually provided by a cross passage of timber screens or rubble walling running transversely through the long house, linking opposed openings in the long side walls. Ancillary buildings are generally separated from the farmhouse itself, or else appear as out-shuts attached to the long house and often extending one end. These additional structures served as barns, fuel or equipment stores and occasionally contained ovens and corn-drying kilns. While many settlements in Cornwall are known from documentary sources to be of medieval origin, well- preserved deserted sites are rare. Consequently those on Bodmin Moor provide the main surviving source of evidence for the distinctive form and layout of Cornish medieval settlements. The deserted medieval settlement 1125m WNW of Canaglaze survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, functions of the buildings, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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