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Dingerein Castle small multivallate hillfort and annexe, 240m north west of Curgurrel Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Gerrans, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1999 / 50°11'59"N

Longitude: -4.9691 / 4°58'8"W

OS Eastings: 188205.681287

OS Northings: 37540.463077

OS Grid: SW882375

Mapcode National: GBR ZL.0KZC

Mapcode Global: FRA 08GH.KY1

Entry Name: Dingerein Castle small multivallate hillfort and annexe, 240m north west of Curgurrel Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 August 1929

Last Amended: 6 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019742

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32935

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Gerrans

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Gerrans

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The scheduling includes a later prehistoric small multivallate hillfort and
annexe, situated on the crest of a hill, with a fairly steep coastal slope to
Gerrans Bay to the south east.
The hillfort is sub-circular in plan, measuring approximately 135m across
overall. The inner rampart of earth and stone is visible on the north and west
sides as a bank 2.5m wide, 1.4m high internally and up to 3.3m high
externally. On the east side it appears as a scarp some 10m wide and 1.1m high
with slight traces of the inside of the bank; it is also visible on aerial
photographs on the south side. Aerial photographs also show a buried ditch
outside this rampart to the north, visible on the ground around the north
and west sides as a low flat strip 8.5m wide outside the inner rampart; by
analogy with similar sites this ditch will extend around the whole circuit.
The interior of the fort is level.
The concentric outer rampart is visible on the ground as a substantial
earthwork incorporated in boundary banks around the north, west, and south
sides, measuring up to 4.1m across and 1.3m high on the inside, and 1.5m high
There is no evidence of the outer rampart on the east. Aerial photographs show
an outer buried external ditch on the SSW side, which again is considered to
have continued around the outer rampart, and to be of similar width to the
A low scarp visible on the ground on the south east side is considered to form
part of the bank enclosing a crescentic annexe east of the hillfort. A buried
ditch outside the bank is shown on aerial photographs, and this ditch defines
the annexe on the north. The interior of the annexe slopes slightly south
A fogou or underground chamber possibly used for refuge or storage is
associated with the hillfort. This has not been located.
The surfaces of the modern public road and approach road, telegraph poles,
signposts, beehives and all modern fencing, gateposts and gates are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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

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.

Dingerein Castle small multivallate hillfort and annexe, 240m north west
of Curgurrel Farm survive reasonably well. Despite reduction or levelling of
parts of the ramparts and the enclosing bank of the annexe, substantial
lengths remain intact, and the overall ground plan is clear. The old land
surface beneath the upstanding earthworks, and remains of buildings and
structures and other deposits associated with these, will survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hearne, T, The Itinerary of John Leland, (1769)
Padel, O J, Cornish placename elements, (1985), 50, 73
Ralegh-Radford, C, OW819, (1929)
Whitaker, J, The Ancient Cathedral of Cornwall, (1804)
Ms at RIC, Henderson, C, Notes on the Parish of Gerrans, (1925)
SW 83 NE 8, King, AN, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1968)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project
Source Date: 1996

Title: Gerrans Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1841
548, 778
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1907

Ts at CAU, James, D, Notes on the ancient earthworks at Curgurrel, near Gerrans, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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