Ancient Monuments

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Bake Rings later prehistoric-Roman round with attached enclosure and outwork

A Scheduled Monument in Pelynt, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3663 / 50°21'58"N

Longitude: -4.5506 / 4°33'2"W

OS Eastings: 218702.426696

OS Northings: 54930.934476

OS Grid: SX187549

Mapcode National: GBR NB.V6Y4

Mapcode Global: FRA 18C2.F07

Entry Name: Bake Rings later prehistoric-Roman round with attached enclosure and outwork

Scheduled Date: 14 April 1977

Last Amended: 27 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017682

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15008

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Pelynt

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Pelynt

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument of Bake Rings includes a near-circular defended settlement, the
round, with a sub-rectangular annexe attached to its eastern side and a curved
bank and ditch covering the annexe's SE corner.
The round consists of an almost circular internal area, c.55m by 50m, defined
by a bank and outer ditch. The bank survives 10m wide and rises to 0.5m above
the interior level. The ditch is visible 8m - 15m wide, surviving to a
maximum depth of 1m below the external ground surface. The sub-rectangular
annexe has an internal area of 85m by 75m, and hence is larger than the round
to which it was attached. It is defined by a bank and outer ditch of similar
proportions except along its line of abutment with the E side of the round's
ditch where its bank is absent. The SE corner of its ditch is truncated by
the line of the modern road passing the E side of the monument. To the SE of
that road, a limited secondary line of earthworks survives as a curving bank,
1m high, with a largely silted outer ditch. This outwork mirrors the curve of
the annexe's SE corner and provides a strengthening of the defences at the
site of a possible entrance to the annexe.
Rounds were agricultural settlements mostly constructed in the period 2nd
century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. Although the Bake Rings round has not
been excavated, confirmation of its likely later Prehistoric to Roman date
comes from the discovery of a squat beehive quern within the SE sector of the
round's defence bank. This monument has been mentioned in antiquarian
accounts since the early 19th century, when the ditches still survived to a
depth of 3m. The monument occupies a shallow saddle in the summit of a low
hill in improved pasture on the deeply dissected terrain 4.5km N of the SE
Cornish coast. This monument is divided into two separate constraint areas.
The hedges, gates and gate-posts that impinge on the site of the monument are
excluded from the scheduling, but the land beneath them, including the earthen
hedge-banks, is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Rounds are small embanked enclosures with an external ditch, usually circular
or oval, forming one of a range of known settlement types dating to the later
Iron Age and Roman periods. They usually have a single earth-and-rubble bank
and outer ditch, broken by one entrance gap. Excavated examples have produced
dry-stone supporting walls within the bank, paved or cobbled entrance-ways and
post-built gate structures. Excavated features within rounds have included
foundations of timber, turf or stone built houses, of oval or rectangular
plan, often set around the inner edge of the enclosing bank. Other features
include hearths, drains, gullies, pits, and rubbish middens. Evidence for
industrial activities has been recovered from some sites, including
small-scale metal-working, and among the domestic debris occur items traded
from distant sources. Some rounds are associated with secondary enclosures,
often circular or rectangular, and either butted against the round as an
annexe or forming an additional enclosure up to 100m away.
Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlements, the equivalents of
farming hamlets, replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th century
A.D.. Over 750 rounds are recorded nationally, occurring throughout the areas
bordering the Irish Sea, and confined in England to Cornwall and SW Devon.
They are most densely concentrated in west Cornwall and are usually sited on
hill-slopes and spurs. They are particularly important as one of the major
sources of information on settlement and social organisation in the Iron Age
and Roman periods in south-west England. Consequently sites displaying an
extensively complete plan representative of the range of known types,
topographical locations and geographical spread will normally be considered as
nationally important.
Bake Rings is particularly important as an example of the rare sub-group of
rounds with a rectangular annexe, and of an even smaller number with a visible
outwork. Its importance is enhanced by its situation in an area far from the
main concentration of rounds and by retaining an almost complete ground plan.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987)
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987)
MacLaughlan, H, 'Reports of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in Reports of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, , Vol. 31, (1846)
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 25160: Bake Rings,
Raymond, F., MPP Monument Class Description: Rounds, (1987)
Recorded on A.M.107 form, Sheppard, P.A., (recorded on AM107 form), (1983)
Recorded on AM7 form, Rees, S.E., (recorded on AM7 form), (1976)
supplied by the landowner, Eastley, JE, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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