Ancient Monuments

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Hillfort 225m north east of Bosvisack

A Scheduled Monument in Kenwyn, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2745 / 50°16'28"N

Longitude: -5.1132 / 5°6'47"W

OS Eastings: 178268.02684

OS Northings: 46254.164463

OS Grid: SW782462

Mapcode National: GBR Z9.XXNV

Mapcode Global: FRA 0859.PSD

Entry Name: Hillfort 225m north east of Bosvisack

Scheduled Date: 14 January 1974

Last Amended: 25 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016065

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29616

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Kenwyn

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Kenwyn with St Allen

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort located on the eastern end
of a natural spur which sits above and between two arms of the River Kenwyn;
these two arms of the river conjoin 650m east of the monument. The hillfort
has a near circular defended area with an inner bank, and an outer bank which
is partly preserved within the fabric of more modern hedge-banks. The outer
bank is, in places, 3m wide and 1.2m high with an additional 1m drop on the
exterior. Elsewhere, the line of the outer rampart is seen in the clear breaks
of slope. The inner bank, which lay some 15m inside the outer bank, was
recorded in the early part of the 20th century but no longer survives above
ground. The interior of the hillfort is 140m by 160m, encompassing
about 2.25ha. Although previously subject to cultivation and now level, the
interior was reported in the early part of the 20th century to have had traces
of mounds, thought to be the remains of round houses or other structures.
All fencing and fence posts, gates and gate posts, a concrete water cistern
and all modern walling are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath all these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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. In view of the
rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding
the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of
national importance.

The small multivallate hillfort north east of Bosvisack survives well as one
of only few examples in Cornwall. The monument will contain archaeological
information relating to the construction and use of the site, the lives of its
inhabitants, and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Parochial Antiquities of the Hundred of Powder, (1925), 197-8
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Kenwyn, , Vol. 4, (1965), 77
Pitcher, G H, (1965)
Source Date: 1987

Title: 1840 Tithe Award
Source Date: 1840
Field No 3369

Source: Historic England

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