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Earlier Prehistoric hillfort, two cairns, medieval pound and adjacent Prehistoric field systems, hut circles and transhumance huts on Stowe's Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Earlier Prehistoric hillfort, two cairns, medieval pound and adjacent Prehistoric field systems, hut circles and transhumance huts on Stowe's Hill

List entry Number: 1012352

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Linkinhorne

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-May-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Oct-1992

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15071

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Earlier Prehistoric hillforts are large fortified settlement sites dating to the Neolithic period (c.3500 - 2000 BC). They may be recognised by single or multiple stone-rubble walls or earthen banks enclosing all or part of a hilltop. The boundaries often vary in size, incorporate numerous small entrance gaps and commonly include substantial natural rock outcrops and scarps in their circuit. Ditches, sometimes similarly with intermittent breaks, occasionally accompany the enclosing banks. The hillfort enclosures, up to 10ha in extent, usually contain cleared and levelled house platforms, funerary cairns and occasional stone hut circles. The few recent excavations on this class of monument have revealed numerous internal timber and stake- built structures and pits associated with large quantities of undisturbed Neolithic settlement debris including animal bone, charcoal, flint artefacts, pottery and stone tools. Many of these finds or their raw materials were originally brought to the hillforts from considerable distances away and excavations have also produced evidence for warfare at some sites. Extensive outworks are associated with most of these hillforts, either roughly concentric with the inner enclosure or connecting a series of related enclosures. Under twenty Earlier Prehistoric hillforts are known nationally, concentrated in the uplands of south-western England from the Cotswolds and Dorset to west Cornwall, with a very few isolated possible examples elsewhere in S England. They are a very rare monument type, highly representative of their period as one of the major sources of information on social organisation and interaction during the Neolithic. Consequently all Earlier Prehistoric hillforts that are not extensively damaged will be considered of national importance. The Early Prehistoric hillfort on Stowe's Hill is one of the largest and best preserved examples. It has not been excavated and has suffered only minor disturbance from later activities, allowing the preservation of extensive areas of original deposits beneath the peat cover and hill-slope debris. It is directly related to the adjacent Prehistoric field systems and settlements and is close to a major Bronze Age ritual area, demonstrating well the role of this Earlier Prehistoric hillfort in the developing organisation of land use during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a large, earlier Prehistoric hillfort containing numerous house platforms, a stone hut circle and two funerary cairns. The southern part of the hillfort was later re-used to form a medieval stock pound. Irregular Prehistoric field systems incorporating hut circles, clearance cairns and two early medieval transhumance huts are situated immediately adjacent to the hillfort's outer wall. The monument is situated close to the NE edge of a major concentration of Bronze Age ritual monuments on Craddock and Rillaton Moors, on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The hillfort is indicated by a large drystone enclosure wall which exhibits occasional areas of both inner and outer facing stones. The wall is up to 5.5m wide and 1.5m high, enclosing the oval 5ha area of the hill's summit plateau. Earth-fast boulders and small rock out crops are incorporated at many points along the wall and its course includes many narrow gaps. Two original entrances are present near the centres of the east and west sides. A hollowed trackway passes from the inner enclosure, through the west entrance and continues down the west slope of the hill, bounded by rubble walling along its upper course. The interior of the inner enclosure contains over one hundred small, levelled and cleared areas, averaging 10m diameter, forming platforms for Prehistoric timber round houses and associated structures. The house platforms cluster densely between the east and west entrances and in the southern part of the enclosure. A single stone hut circle is located near the NW edge of the inner enclosure; it has a circular wall, 1.5m wide, of stone rubble faced by upright slabs on each side, enclosing an 8m diameter internal area and with a clear entrance gap to the WSW. Two stone funerary cairns are situated on low rock outcrops in this enclosure's north sector. One, on the enclosure's long axis, comprises a low platform, 17m diameter, supporting a peripheral bank and a central mound rising to 1.4m high; the other, near the enclosure's NE edge, has a central mound, 12m diameter, surrounded by traces of two low encircling banks. The southern edge of the inner enclosure abuts a smaller pear-shaped enclosure encompassing the 0.75ha area of higher rocky outcrops at the southern tip of the hill's summit. The stone wall of this southern enclosure is up to 12.5m wide and 4.5m high and incorporates many of the large rock outcrops; stone-robbing at the wall's south corner exposes its internal structure of upright slabs, called orthostats, up to 1.7m high, arranged as two rows 3m apart. This southern enclosure was re-used as a stock pound during the medieval period and contains over ten levelled and cleared areas in its otherwise highly irregular and rocky surface. Extensive outworks surround the hillfort's inner and southern enclosures. Three lines of stone walling run along the hillslope approximately concentric with the inner enclosure wall. The highest of these walls survives on the SE, NE, north and west sides of the hill, running 9.5m-20m beyond the inner enclosure wall but veering out to a distance of 66m opposite the enclosure's west entrance. Cross-walls link this outwork to the inner enclosure wall on each side of the east entrance; similar walling north and south of the west entrance form an irregular enclosure around the upper approach to that entrance. The intermediate concentric wall extends for only 98m, situated 38m beyond the NE sector of the inner enclosure wall. The outermost wall encircles the hill's lower slope, 94m-172m beyond the inner enclosure wall, and is almost continuous around the north and west sectors from the NE to the SW sides of the hill. Its major gap extends 55m south from its junction with the hollow trackway from the west entrance. Centred in this gap is a circular Prehistoric enclosure, 22m in external diameter, of double-faced stone walling with an entrance to the west and containing a stone hut circle, 5.25m external diameter, built into its north side. A stone wall links this enclosure with the enclosure around the west entrance approach. The approach to the eastern entrance of the inner enclosure is defined as a funnel shape by two outworks. That on the north side runs directly downslope, eastwards, surviving for 158m, while the wall on the south side runs similarly downslope for only 30m, then curves gently round to the south along the hill's lower slope, surviving to the edge of the 19th-century quarry dumps on the SE side of the hill. Areas of Prehistoric fields and settlement adjoin the SE and west sides of the hillfort. That to the SE comprises the NW edge of two subrectangular fields bounded by largely turf-covered stone walls 1m wide and 0.5m high. The surviving west wall of this field system joins the hillfort's SE outwork shortly before it meets the 19th-century quarry spoil. The field system's east and SW sides are also truncated by 19th-century disturbance. Within the western field's north corner is a single hut circle, 6.5m internal diameter with stone rubble walls 1m wide and 0.3m high; its entrance gap to the SW is defined by an upright stone jamb to each side. The Prehistoric field system west of the hillfort occupies an area of c.4.5ha west and south from the point where the hollow trackway reaches the hillfort's outermost concentric wall. The field system survives as a series of at least ten low broad banks of stone, up to 6m wide and 1m high, running roughly east-west down the hill's gentle lower slope. These comprise material cleared from the intervening areas, which, in the northern half of the field system, contain curving turf-covered banks of earth and stone called lynchets, resulting from soil creeping downhill to the lower boundary of the cleared cultivation plots. In the southern half of the field system, the far gentler slope has much reduced the visible extent of lynchetting. Within the cleared areas are numerous small rounded heaps of stone, called clearance cairns, the result of further stone clearance from the cultivated area. At least eighteen such clearance cairns are present, ranging in size 1.5m - 7m diameter and 0.3m - 1m high. Further clearance cairns have been constructed on some of the cleared-stone banks. Two stone hut circles are situated within the field system, each comprising a rubble wall with internal slabs. One is centred 26m west of the hillfort's outwork and is 8m in external diameter with an entrance gap to the NE; the other, centred 178m to the west, is 6m in external diameter but lacks a visible entrance: its NW sector has been truncated by a medieval tin-streamers' cutting. A circular house platform, 7.2m diameter, similar to those within the hillfort, is situated at the eastern end of one of the cleared-stone banks, 25m SW of the larger hut circle. The rubble walls of two small subrectangular buildings, typical of early medieval herders' shelters called transhumance huts, are built into the field system's clearance features. A small dam for a medieval tin-streamers' reservoir has been constructed between two of the cleared-stone banks near the centre of the field system; the dam comprises two short earth-and-rubble banks, 5m wide and 1.2m high, converging downslope from the Prehistoric banks to a narrow gap formerly occupied by a sluice. The modern post-and-wire fence bounding the edge of the Cheesewring quarry is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments, (1982), 187
Darvill, T, Prehistoric Britain, (1987), 59-63
Hawkes, J, Guide to the Prehistoric and Roman Monuments in England & Wales, (1951), 159
Polsue, J, Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall, (1870), 132
Rowse, A L, The Little Land of Cornwall, (1986), 44
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 334-5
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 334-7
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 334-7
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 38, 388
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 73-7
Fletcher, M J, 'From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell' in Stowe's Pound, , Vol. 209, (1989), 74-5
Fletcher, M J, 'From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell' in Stowe's Pound, , Vol. 209, (1989), 75
Fletcher, M J, 'From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell' in Stowe's Pound, , Vol. 209, (1989), 71-77
Fletcher, M J, 'From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell' in Stowe's Pound, , Vol. 209, (1989), 71-7
Fletcher, M J, 'From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell' in Stowe's Pound, , Vol. 209, (1989), 76
Fletcher, M J, 'From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell' in Stowe's Pound, , Vol. 209, (1989), 71-7
Mercer, R J, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Excavations At Carn Brea, Illogan, Cornwall, , Vol. 20, (1981), 1-204
Silvester, R J, 'Prehistoric Dartmoor in its Context. DAS Jubilee Conference Proc' in The Rel of 1st Millen Settlement to the Upland Areas of the SW, , Vol. 37, (1979), 176-190
Other
Carter, A/RCHME amended by Hooley, A D, AP transcription, SX 2672, amended with data from 1991 re-survey, (1991)
consulted 1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 14073,
consulted 3/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 Air Photo Transcription, SX 2672,
consulted 3/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 Air Photo Transcription: SX 2671 & SX 2672,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1359,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1401.01,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1401: Stowe's Pound,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1415,
Consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1437,
Consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1438,
consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1439 (part) & 14073,
Consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1439 (part),
Consulted 3/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1440.01,
Fig 2, Fletcher, M J, Stowe's Pound, c.1:2080 plan, in: Stowe's Pound, From Cornwall to Caithness. Papers presented to Norman Quinnell, (1989)
Forthcoming; draft text consulted, CAU, RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey (Volume 1), The Prehistoric and Historic Landscape,
Quinnell, N V amended by Hooley, A D, AP transcription, SX 2672, amended with data from 1991 re-survey, (1991)
Raymond, F, EH Monument Class Description: Hilltop Enclosures, (1988)
SMR/7 & plan GRH 124/4, SX 2672 SW, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1440.03,
SMR7 texts & plan GRH 124/4 SX 2672SW, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1440,
Title: Ordnance Survey 6": 1 mile Map: Cornwall XXVIII NW Source Date: 1907 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SX 25720 72732

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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