'Pixie's Hall'

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1006750

Date first listed: 10-Aug-1923

Map

Ordnance survey map of 'Pixie's Hall'
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Constantine

National Grid Reference: SW 72802 30029

Summary

Fogou known as ‘Pixie’s Hall’, 205m NNW of Bosahan Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Fogous are 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, and then covered by earth. Fogous date to the Iron Age and continued in use into the Roman period although there is little evidence for the initial construction of any after the end of the Iron Age. Approximately 12 fogous are known to have surviving remains, their national distribution being restricted to the far west of Cornwall, in West Penwith and around the upper Helford River. They are often associated with courtyard house settlements and with various forms of contemporary settlement sites including rounds and hillforts. The original functions of fogous are not fully understood; safe refuges, entrances, storage areas and ritual shrines have been proposed as possibilities, with particular emphasis on the refuge theory. They form an extremely rare and distinctive class of monument and are important sources of information on the unique nature and pattern of settlement that developed during the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west England. Despite partial excavation, the fogou known as ‘Pixie’s Hall’, 205m NNW of Bosahan Farm survives well and is one of this extremely rare and distinctive group. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, subsequent re-use, social, economic and possible ritual significance as well as its overall landscape context.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 December 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a fogou known as Pixie’s Hall which is situated on the upper western slopes of a valley to a tributary of the Helford River. The fogou survives as a partially underground tunnel constructed from drystone masonry walls, roofed with large slabs and covered with an earthen mound. The roofed part of the structure measures up to 8m long, 2m wide and 1.5m high. The north-west end is walled up and there are traces of un-roofed portions at either end. There are two modern door jambs with an iron hook for hanging a door.

Polwhele was the first to record the fogou in 1803 and he described a round pit at one end filled with ashes. Hencken found some iron slag and Iron Age pottery in the passage which was donated to the Truro Museum and Henderson surveyed the fogou and concluded there was possible buried evidence for a further branching passage and entrance.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: CO 10

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-427753

End of official listing