Stone hut circle settlement with irregular aggregate field system at Kynance Gate, 935m south east of Kynance Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SW 68681 13896

Reasons for Designation

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone- based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth or stone. Frequently traces of their associated field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other enclosures. Irregular aggregate field systems are one of several methods of field layout known to have been employed in south-west England from the Bronze Age to the Roman period (c.2000 BC-AD 400). They comprise a collection of field plots, generally lacking conformity of orientation and arrangement, containing fields with sinuous outlines and varying shapes and sizes, bounded by stone or rubble walls or banks, ditches or fences. They are often located around or near ceremonial and funerary monuments. They are an important element of the existing landscape and are representative of farming practice over a long period. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite partial excavation, the stone hut circle settlement with irregular aggregate field system at Kynance Gate, 935m south east of Kynance Farm will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, social organisation, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.


The monument includes a stone hut circle settlement with an associated irregular aggregate field system, situated around a rocky spur on the north western side of the steep valley leading to Kynance Cove. The settlement survives as two discreet groups of stone hut circles with associated small fields defined by stone walls. The north eastern group includes at least seven circular or slightly oval shaped stone hut circles measuring 9m in diameter on average and surrounded by walls of up to 0.4m high, with various attached enclosures. The south western group includes at least nine circular or oval stone hut circles defined by thick double-faced walls and all linked together by boundaries to form at least three enclosures. All the buildings in the southern group are constructed on a raised, terraced platform. The settlement was first recorded by the Ordnance Survey in around 1880. Following a heath fire in 1896, one of the huts was partially excavated by members of the Royal Institution of Cornwall. Between 1952 and 1963, Ivor Thomas led a series of partial excavations by the Lizard Field Club which mainly concentrated on the huts in the southern group and their immediate surrounding areas, with a single excavation in one of the northern group huts in 1954. Over 2000 sherds of Middle Bronze Age pottery, stone artefacts, flints and fragments of clay moulds used for producing bronze axes were uncovered, as well as layers of occupation debris, post holes, paving and hearths indicating the date of the earliest settlement. Following an apparent period of abandonment the settlement was re-used and extended during two phases of Iron Age occupation which extended into the Romano-British period and included the construction of oval-shaped buildings.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-425332


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 439
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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