Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort with outworks called Blacketon Rings

A Scheduled Monument in Menheniot, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4164 / 50°24'59"N

Longitude: -4.4036 / 4°24'12"W

OS Eastings: 229332.575808

OS Northings: 60157.151513

OS Grid: SX293601

Mapcode National: GBR NJ.R2PL

Mapcode Global: FRA 17NY.J75

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort with outworks called Blacketon Rings

Scheduled Date: 9 February 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007296

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 1038

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Menheniot

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Menheniot

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort with outworks, situated on the summit of a prominent hill, forming the watershed between two tributaries to the River Seaton. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosed inner area defined by a rampart bank which survives differentially. To the east it is a lynchet of up to 1.2m high incorporated into a hedge bank, and to the west a scarp of up to 8m wide with the faint traces of a bank. The ditch survives as a buried feature and is only visible for a short length to the north. An outwork survives to the western side only as a field boundary bank with a strong lynchet and a buried outer ditch. To the north east and east the rampart and ditch have been cut by a farm. This area is excluded from the scheduling. The outworks are not concentric with the line of the inner rampart, and when Lysons first described the hillfort (before the farm was built) he stressed the difference in distance between the inner and outer ramparts varied with them being very closely spaced to the east and widely separated to the west.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-435076

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. They are both rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite reduction in the heights of the ramparts through agricultural activity, the slight univallate hillfort with outworks called Blacketon Rings survives comparatively well. The presence of outworks makes it more unusual and may indicate different phases of activity or the development of a larger hillfort. The hillfort will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, territorial significance and strategic importance, agricultural practices, social organisation, trade, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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