Iron Age defended settlement at Padderbury Top

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007297

Date first listed: 17-Mar-1977

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Map

Ordnance survey map of Iron Age defended settlement at Padderbury Top
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Germans

National Grid Reference: SX 31398 61038

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. The Iron Age defended settlement at Padderbury Top is a relatively small monument with a topographically impressive location and a complex series of defences. Despite reduction in the height of the ramparts through cultivation, it will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, territorial significance, social organisation, function, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices and overall landscape context.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on the summit of a prominent hill called Padderbury Top. The settlement survives as a roughly circular central enclosure defined by an inner rampart bank of up to 3m high. It is concentrically surrounded by a closely-set second rampart defined as a scarp of up to 1m high. Aerial photographs reveal there were originally up to four lines of defence, one between the two visible ramparts and an outer bank with ditch. These, together with the ditches associated with the visible ramparts, are preserved as buried features.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-436736

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: CO 1039

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

End of official listing