Ancient Monuments

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Veryan Castle multiple enclosure fort and annexe 500m south west of Churchtown Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Veryan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2121 / 50°12'43"N

Longitude: -4.9316 / 4°55'53"W

OS Eastings: 190928.847473

OS Northings: 38786.177322

OS Grid: SW909387

Mapcode National: GBR ZN.MPV6

Mapcode Global: FRA 08KG.GK7

Entry Name: Veryan Castle multiple enclosure fort and annexe 500m south west of Churchtown Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1962

Last Amended: 8 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019746

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32939

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Veryan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Veryan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The scheduling includes a later prehistoric multiple enclosure fort and
annexe, situated on a steep west slope to a stream above Gerrans Bay, south
west of Veryan. The fort has an inner enclosure, egg-shaped in plan, with a
concentric outer enclosure on the south and east sides, and a crescentic
annexe beyond this, the whole being sub-oval in plan and measuring
approximately 180m north west-south east by 130m north east-south west.
The inner enclosure, measuring 60m north-south by 42m east-west internally, is
levelled into the slope by cutting in on the uphill side and building out
downhill. On the east side it has an enclosing bank approximately 6m-8m wide
and 6m high, formed by an earth and stone rampart above the scarp cut to level
the enclosure, with an external ditch 2.2m-4m wide at its base and around 4m
On the west side the enclosure is defined by a scarp up to 7.5m high, having
no visible inward facing bank, but with a terrace around its base 3m-4m wide
and sloping slightly outwards, considered to be a silted external ditch, above
a very steep natural slope. An original entrance from the outer enclosure to
the south east is visible as a gap some 6m wide on the south side, between the
bank on the east side and the scarp on the west side.
The outer enclosure of the fort, surrounding the inner enclosure on the south
and east sides, measures up to 25m across and slopes west with the natural
A boundary bank of earth and stone with stone facing, relatively recent in its
present form, is considered to incorporate remains of the rampart around this
enclosure. The northern part of the boundary bank is 2m wide and 2m high
inside, 1.5m high outside, and has an external ditch 2.6m wide and up to 0.6m
deep. On the south west side the return to the inner enclosure is formed by a
scarp some 6m across and 2m-3m high. The original entrance to the outer
enclosure is considered to be on the south side, where it is approached by a
hollow way.
The annexe adjoining the fort to the south east has an enclosing bank visible
on the ground as a scarp around 12m across and 0.7m high, with traces of an
external ditch. The bank and ditch are shown on aerial photographs.
All modern fencing, gateposts, gates, and the timber stile and signpost, 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

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.

Veryan Castle multiple enclosure fort and annexe 500m south west of Churchtown
Farm survive well. Despite reduction of the annexe earthworks and modification
of the outer rampart, they remain substantially intact. The old land surface
underlying the upstanding earthworks, and remains of buildings and structures
and other deposits associated with these, will survive.

Source: Historic England


SW 93 NW 2, CC, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project
Source Date: 1995

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

Title: Veryan Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840
1296, 1297

Source: Historic England

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