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Later prehistoric to Roman round and enclosures with medieval field system 260m west of Coosewartha Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Agnes, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2765 / 50°16'35"N

Longitude: -5.2034 / 5°12'12"W

OS Eastings: 171854.063417

OS Northings: 46742.210727

OS Grid: SW718467

Mapcode National: GBR Z4.MQ89

Mapcode Global: VH12C.R9KX

Entry Name: Later prehistoric to Roman round and enclosures with medieval field system 260m west of Coosewartha Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019744

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32937

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Agnes

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Mount Hawke with Mithian

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The scheduling includes a round and an adjacent pair of enclosures of the
later prehistoric to Roman period, together with the upstanding remains of an
adjacent medieval field system, situated on a moderate south facing slope
south of St Agnes. Also within the area of protection are some features from a
19th century copper and tin mine.
The round, in the north east of the scheduling, is egg-shaped in plan,
measuring approximately 130m north east-south west by 100m north west-south
east. It has an outer enclosing bank of earth and stone averaging 6m wide
by 0.45m high but up to 8.5m wide and 0.6m high, visible as a scarp 1m high
around the downhill side, with an external ditch 5m wide and 0.3m deep. An
inner bank some 5.5m within this is shown on aerial photographs, and is
visible on the ground around the north side as a bank 6m wide and 0.3m high on
the inside with only a slight outer face. An entrance to the south west is
shown on the aerial photographs. The interior is sloping, with pronounced
irregular hollows considered to be associated with a 19th century mine,
described below. The enclosure in the north west of the scheduling is
irregular in plan, measuring up to 100m NNE-SSW by 65m WNW-ESE. Around most of
the perimeter is an enclosing bank of earth and stone averaging 5.5m wide and
0.5m high outside, having only a slight inner face, with a buried external
ditch forming a break in slope 4m wide. Aerial photographs show the bank and
ditch continuing around the north side, beyond a modern hedge crossing the
enclosure ENE-WSW. A gap in the earthworks on the north west side may be an
original entrance. The sloping interior has depressions considered to be
associated with mining.
The enclosure in the south east of the scheduling, adjoining that on the north
east, is sub-oval in plan, measuring approximately 80m north west-south east
by 70m north east-south west overall. Aerial photographs show an outer
enclosing bank with an inner bank around the north and west sides; slight
traces of the banks are visible on the ground on the north side. The interior
is sloping. The enclosure is cut by the ditch of the adjoining round on the
north east side, by the field system on the south, and by mining remains.
The medieval field system in the south of the scheduling is shown on aerial
photographs and is visible on the ground as slight earthworks. It is bounded
to the north by a bank around 8m wide and up to 0.5m high, attached to the
north west of the enclosure in the south east of the scheduling and curves
south west. Parallel slightly curving ditches running downslope south of this
are considered to have been attached to it, and to define at least 10 slightly
raised strip fields. The strips are 10m-20m wide, and around 75m long within
the scheduling; some continue south beyond this scheduling, appearing as
cropmarks for a similar distance.
Irregular hollows and largely levelled mounds within and beside the round,
enclosures, and field system, are considered to be remains of the workings of
Victoria Mine, a copper and tin mine active from the mid-19th century. The
hollows vary from 7m across to 9.5m by 23m, and from 0.2m to 0.8m deep. Some
probably result from prospecting for east-west lodes. A substantial oval mound
at SW91913873 may mark the site of a nearby shaft.
The round and enclosures are closely associated with further enclosures
visible as cropmarks beyond this scheduling.
All modern gateposts 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

Rounds are small embanked enclosures, one of a range of settlement types
dating to between the later Iron Age and the early post-Roman period. Usually
circular or oval, they have a single earth and rubble bank and an outer ditch,
with one entrance breaking the circuit.
Excavations have produced drystone supporting walls within the bank, paved or
cobbled entrance ways, post built gate structures, and remains of timber, turf
or stone built houses of oval or rectangular plan, often set around the inner
edge of the enclosing bank. Other evidence includes 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, items traded from distant sources. Some rounds are associated
with secondary enclosures, either abutting the round as an annexe or forming
an additional enclosure.
Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlements, the equivalents of
farming hamlets. They were replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th
century AD. Over 750 rounds are recorded in the British Isles, occurring in
areas bordering the Irish Seas, but confined in England to south west Devon
and especially Cornwall, where many more examples may await discovery. Most
recorded examples are sited on hillslopes and spurs.
Rounds are important as one of the major sources of information on settlement
and social organisation of the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west
England. Consequently, sites with significant surviving remains will normally
be considered to be of national importance.

The later prehistoric to Roman round and enclosures, and medieval field
system, 260m west of Coosewartha Farm survive well. Despite reduction of the
enclosing banks by ploughing, their earthworks are substantial. The old land
surface underlying the upstanding earthworks, and remains of any buildings,
structures and other deposits associated with these, will survive.
The evidence for an inner bank to the round is unusual and illustrates variety
of form within this monument type. The close grouping of the round and
enclosures is also unusual and will provide information on later prehistoric
to Roman period social and economic organisation; the clipping of the southern
enclosure by the round indicates development in these aspects over time. The
development of land use on this hillslope over a much longer time-scale is
demonstrated by the survival of the medieval field system as an upstanding
feature adjacent to the earlier round and enclosures.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hamilton Jenkin, A K, Mines and Miners of Cornwall, (1962), 47
Thomas, R, Letter to the West Briton, (1851)
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Check-List of Antiquities, , Vol. 1, (1962), 114
Report at CAU, Thomas, N, An Assessment of the Sevenstone to North Country Water Main, (1996)
Report at CAU, Thomas, N, An Assessment of the Sevenstone to North Country Water Main, (1996)
Rose, PG, CAU SMR, (1980)
SW 74 NW 17, King, AN, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1970)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project
Source Date: 2000

Title: Map of the St Agnes Mining District, Cornwall
Source Date: 1870

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1908

Title: Ordnance Survey 2" field drawing
Source Date: 1811

Title: St Agnes Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840

Title: St Agnes Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840
Title: St Agnes Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840
2239, 2258

Source: Historic England

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