Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 550m east of Feadon Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Portreath, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2585 / 50°15'30"N

Longitude: -5.2784 / 5°16'42"W

OS Eastings: 166422.644026

OS Northings: 44974.721884

OS Grid: SW664449

Mapcode National: GBR Z0.PVXN

Mapcode Global: VH12B.GRDQ

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 550m east of Feadon Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007295

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 1036

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Portreath

Built-Up Area: Portreath

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Saint Illogan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on the upper north-facing slopes of a prominent ridge, overlooking the valley which leads to Portreath. The settlement survives as a roughly oval area. It is defined by double closely-concentric ramparts with ditches which are preserved differentially. The western side of the enclosure is best preserved with the ramparts clearly visible, whilst to the east the outer rampart and ditch are less clearly defined. Generally the outer rampart is up to 1.8m high and the inner rampart is up to 2.4m. The ditches are preserved as buried features.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-426083

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. The Iron Age defended settlement 550m east of Feadon Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, strategic and territorial significance, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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