Reasons for Designation
Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, either simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. They provide important information understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period. Despite some past cultivation, the small multivallate hillfort 127m south east of Demelza Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, territorial significance, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort, situated on the upper slopes of a very prominent ridge, overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Camel. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure measuring approximately 120m by 110m. It is defined by two concentric ramparts with ditches which survive differentially. The inner rampart is a very steep bank of up to 3.6m high. The outer rampart is up to 4.3m high. Both ditches are preserved as largely-buried features. To the south a natural steep slope has been utilised to form part of the outer defences.
The outer bank and ditch have been cut to the south west and west by a road, and this area is excluded from the scheduling.
Known locally as 'Demelza Castle', the name is first recorded in 1309 and derived from the Cornish 'dyn' meaning fort. It was first described by Hals before 1750 as a 'treble entrenchment'.
PastScape Monument No:-430589