Round at Stamford Hill


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:
SS 22744 07046

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. The round at Stamford Hill survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, and domestic arrangements. Its reuse during the Civil War adds considerably to the interest of the site.


The monument includes a round, situated close to the summit of a prominent hill on a south west slope. The round survives as an almost circular enclosure of approximately 55m in diameter internally, defined by a bank which survives differentially, standing up to 7m wide and 3.5m high on all except the east side where it is preserved as a scarp. Beyond the bank is a partially-buried outer ditch of 9m wide and 0.3m deep. The round was first recorded by Maclauchlan in 1852.

The round was traditionally re-used as a gun battery during the Civil War Battle of Stratton in 1643, although the earthworks were not apparently modified. A memorial to the Battle stands within the round which was erected in 1713 by Lord Lansdown using a late-15th century pinnacle from a church tower. The memorial is built of stone with a round-headed granite stone archway.

The battle of Stratton took place on the 16th May when a Parliamentarian army of 5,600 men, commanded by the Earl of Stamford, who were advancing into Cornwall camped on Stamford Hill where they were met by a Royalist force of barely 3000 led by Sir Ralph Hopton. They engaged forces near the summit of the hill, and 3000 were killed and 1,700 taken prisoner, leaving Devon open to the advance of the Royalists, a remarkable achievement given the Royalists were desperately short of both food and ammunition.

The round lies within the Registered Battlefield (39). The memorial is Listed Grade II (64801), but is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground below is included.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-31885


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

Legacy System number:
CO 964
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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