Ancient Monuments

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Hillfort 250m south west of Tresawsen

A Scheduled Monument in Perranzabuloe, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3041 / 50°18'14"N

Longitude: -5.113 / 5°6'46"W

OS Eastings: 178419.204015

OS Northings: 49541.274266

OS Grid: SW784495

Mapcode National: GBR Z9.VXS5

Mapcode Global: FRA 0857.9VZ

Entry Name: Hillfort 250m south west of Tresawsen

Scheduled Date: 25 October 1972

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016445

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29671

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Perranzabuloe

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Perranzabuloe

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a later prehistoric hillfort, known as a multiple
enclosure fort, situated on a gentle north facing hill slope about 500m west
of a springhead. The interior of the fort is surrounded by two concentric
lines of defence. The inner, near perfect oval-shaped area is 76m north-south
by 50m east-west, resulting in an internal area of 3.8ha. It is defended by a
rampart, which survives with a height of about 2m along its eastern circuit
where it has been incorporated into a hedge bank. No gap is apparent in this
surviving section which suggests that the entrance way was elsewhere on the
circuit. The inner rampart was fronted by a ditch which is visible as a
depression to the east of a section where the rampart survives in the hedge
bank. The remainder of the inner circuit to the west, which is not apparent
when under cultivation, has been recorded in previous years as an undulation.
Completely encompassing the inner rampart was an outer, near concentric
enclosure formed by a further ring of defences not now visible above ground
but recorded and mapped in earlier literature and shown as two concentric
lines of defence on a map of 1860. These outer defences are believed to
represent a further bank and ditch which stood at a maximum distance of about
20m forward of the inner circuit.
All fencing and fence posts and gates and gate posts, are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Multiple enclosure forts comprise an inner and one or more outer enclosed
areas, together measuring up to c.10ha, and defined by sub-circular or sub-
rectangular earthworks spaced at intervals which exceed 15m; the inner
enclosure is usually entirely surrounded by a bank and ditch. The forts date
mainly to the Late Iron Age (350 BC-c.AD 50) and in England usually occur in
the south west. Most are sited on hillslopes overlooked by higher ground near
a water supply, and many were apparently used for periods of up to 250 years.
The outer enclosures of the forts are usually interpreted as areas set aside
for the containment of livestock, whilst the inner enclosures are generally
thought to have been the focus of occupation.
The earthworks usually include a bank with an outer V-shaped ditch 1m-3m deep.
Entrances are generally single gaps through each line of defence, often
aligned to create a passage from the outer to the inner enclosure, although
there are a few examples where entrances through successive earthworks are not
in alignment. Occasionally the interval between the gaps is marked by inturned
ramparts or low banks and ditches, while the outer entrance may be screened by
a short length of earthwork. Excavations within the inner enclosures have
revealed a range of buildings and structures, including circular structures,
hearths, ovens and cobbled surfaces as well as occasional small pits and large
depressions which may have functioned as watering holes.
Multiple enclosure forts are relatively rare with only around 75 examples
recorded in England, mostly in Devon and Cornwall. Outside these counties
their distribution becomes increasingly scattered and the form and
construction methods more varied. They are important for the study of
settlement and stock management in the later prehistoric period, and most
well-preserved examples will be identified as being of national importance.

The multiple enclosure fort at Tresawsen survives well and 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
Polwhele, R, History of Cornwall, (1803), 211
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Perranzabuloe, , Vol. 2, (1963), 70
Mercer, RJ, AM7, (1970)
Title: Ordnance Survey
Source Date: 1860

Source: Historic England

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