Ancient Monuments

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Multiple enclosure fort 320m north west of Shepherds Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Newlyn East, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3524 / 50°21'8"N

Longitude: -5.072 / 5°4'19"W

OS Eastings: 181559.751489

OS Northings: 54791.356402

OS Grid: SW815547

Mapcode National: GBR ZD.DWC0

Mapcode Global: FRA 0883.FTY

Entry Name: Multiple enclosure fort 320m north west of Shepherds Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32920

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Newlyn East

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Newlyn

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The scheduling includes a later prehistoric multiple enclosure fort situated
on a moderate slope on the south east shoulder of a rounded hill south west of
St Newlyn East. The overall ground plan of the fort is shown on aerial
photographs. It is sub-oval in plan, measuring approximately 130m north east-
south west by 110m north west-south east. It has low ramparts around 6m wide,
consisting of earth and stone which would have been dug from external ditches
of similar width. They form an inner enclosure with an outer enclosure
surrounding it on the north and east. The inner enclosure is egg-shaped in
plan, measuring approximately 100m north east-south west and 60m north
west-south east. It has an entrance on the north east side. The outer
enclosure, crescentic in plan, is approximately 20m wide, broadening to 30m on
the north side and tapering to the inner enclosure on the north west and south
sides. Its entrance is aligned with that of the inner enclosure; the ends of
the rampart either side of the entrance are slightly inturned.

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 320m north west of Shepherds Farm survives
reasonably well, remaining visible on the ground despite ploughing, and being
clearly defined on aerial photographs. The old land surface underlying the
ramparts, and remains of buildings, structures and other deposits associated
with the base of the ramparts and any external ditches can be expected to
survive along with the interiors of the enclosures. The location on the brow
of a hill illustrates the role of topography in the siting of later
prehistoric enclosures. The crescentic plan of the outer enclosure, and the
inturned ramparts flanking the outer entrance, illustrate well the diversity
of form within this monument type.

Source: Historic England


Dyer, CA, Cornwall Mapping Project, (1999)
Dyer, CA, to Parkes, C, (2000)
RAF 3G TUD UK222 5047, (1946)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1879

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1906

Title: St Newlyn East Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840

Source: Historic England

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