Enclosed stone hut circle settlement at Chygwidden Vean, 250m east of Land Vue


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)
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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. 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.

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, taking the form of a thick coursed rubble wall containing rooms and some storage chambers. A central area - the courtyard - was enclosed by this wall and the rooms and the main entrance opened into it. The courtyard is generally considered to have remained unroofed. The national distribution includes over 110 recorded courtyard houses, mostly on the Penwith peninsula at the western tip of Cornwall, with a single example on the Isles of Scilly. 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.

Despite reduction in the heights of the walls and removal of some of the original features through agricultural activity and cultivation, the enclosed stone hut circle settlement at Chygwidden Vean, 250m east of Land Vue will still contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, use, agricultural practices, defence, social organisation and domestic arrangements as well as its overall landscape context and may actually represent a courtyard house style settlement or transitional stage.


The monument includes an enclosed stone hut circle settlement, situated close to the summit of a prominent ridge, overlooking the valley of the Lamorna River. The settlement survives as parts of an enclosure bank of earth and stone of stepped construction standing up to 3m high with an outer partially buried ditch and the low walls of small rectangular enclosures and some further stone hut circle walls.

The settlement was first recorded by Borlase in the 18th century prior to its partial removal for agricultural purposes. At that time it consisted of a walled enclosure approximately 45.8m long by 36.6m wide with an outer ditch and counterscarp bank. The inner wall was faced with large stones and formed a courtyard 27m in diameter. Four stone hut circles from 3.7m to 7.3m in diameter lay within the enclosure. Borlase found pottery, ashes and coins now attributed to the Romano-British period. The surviving remains were planned by WC Borlase in the 1870's. Only traces of rectangular enclosures, then re-used as pig pens, and some of the huts and outer defensive enclosure remained although it was suggested there was a possible roofless fogou.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-424110


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

Legacy System number:
CO 95
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.

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