Courtyard house settlement known as Bosullow Trehyllys, 515m north east of Chun Castle


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 40934 34227

Reasons for Designation

The courtyard house is a building form developed in south west England in the Roman period during the second to fourth centuries AD. It was usually oval or curvilinear in shape and took the form of a thick coursed rubble wall containing rooms and storage chambers. A small central and generally unroofed area - the courtyard - was enclosed by this wall, and the rooms within the wall and the main entrance opened into it. Excavations of courtyard houses have revealed paved and cobbled floors, stone partitions, slab-lined and slab-covered drains, threshold and door pivot stones and slab-lined hearths, together with artefactual debris. Excavations have also shown that some courtyard houses developed from earlier phases of round houses on the same site. Courtyard houses may occur singly or in groups of up to nine. The national distribution includes over 110 recorded courtyard houses, mostly on the Penwith peninsula at the western tip of Cornwall. A single complete example from the Isles of Scilly extends the south west limit of their distribution. Courtyard houses are unique within the range of Romano-British settlement types, showing a highly localised adaptation to the windswept conditions of the far south west of England. At least four courtyard house settlements are also associated with fogous, underground passages up to 30m long and 2m wide, usually with side passages and/or chambers. The passages' drystone walls were initially built in a trench, roofed with flat slabs then covered by earth. The courtyard house settlements are important sources of information on the distinctive nature and pattern of settlement that developed during the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west England. Despite limited partial early excavation, the courtyard house settlement known as Bosullow Trehyllys is one of the best preserved, complete with its complex of dwellings, associated buildings, paddocks, gardens and track. Most of the features in the settlement survive well and are very clearly defined and substantial. The settlement will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction; development and function of its buildings; social organisation; longevity; agricultural practices; territorial significance trade and domestic arrangements as well as its overall landscape context.


The monument includes a courtyard house settlement, situated on the lower north east facing slopes of a prominent hill on which Chun Castle stands, overlooking the upper valley of the Lamorna River. The settlement survives as a complex of three separate courtyard houses, with a fourth attached to at least seven clustered stone hut circles and a possible roofless fogou. There are further free-standing stone hut circles to the north west and a number of contemporary paddocks, gardens and enclosures. The walls, built of coursed granite, stand up to 1.8m high and many of the buildings still have door jambs at their entrances. The course of a prehistoric track, now re-used as a long distance footpath called the 'Tinners Way', curves around the northern half of the settlement. The settlement has been the subject of a number of surveys, and of very limited antiquarian excavations in the 19th century, when a few individual 'rooms' were inspected including one by Miller who found charred wood, burnt stone, some pottery and paving. Hirst carried out a small trial excavation in 1935 and found late Iron Age pottery. Weatherhill completed a further survey in 1977. Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-424266 and 1340703


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

Legacy System number:
CO 55
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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