Reasons for Designation
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. 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. Despite some reduction in the height of the ramparts through cultivation and the construction of field boundaries and the insertion of a building, the round 300m north of Northdown survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
The monument includes a round, situated on the north east side and close to the summit of a broad ridge which forms the watershed between the Penpont Water and the River Inny, overlooking the valley of the latter. The round survives as an oval enclosure measuring approximately 95m long by 80m wide and defined to the north by a scarp of 1.4m high with an inner bank of up to 0.4m high with a largely buried outer ditch of up to 0.3m deep. To the south, the rampart has been incorporated into a modern hedge measuring up to 3m wide and 1.8m high with the outer ditch preserved as an entirely buried feature. This southern section has been cut by a gateway with a 19th century barn beside it, within the enclosure. There are two further field boundaries which cross the north eastern quarter of the round and meet close to the centre. These features are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.
PastScape Monument No:-436257