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Later prehistoric to Roman round incorporating contemporary fogou at Halliggye

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: Later prehistoric to Roman round incorporating contemporary fogou at Halliggye

List entry Number: 1013801

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Mawgan-in-Meneage

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Nov-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jan-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15414

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

Rounds are small embanked and ditched enclosures which form one of a range of known settlement types dating to the later Iron Age and Roman periods (c.400 BC - AD 400). The enclosure is often sub-circular but may be sub-rectangular or irregular, and is usually defined by an earth-and-rubble rampart and outer ditch, occasionally with an outer rampart. The defences are usually broken by a single entrance gap. Excavated examples have revealed drystone supporting walls within the bank, paved or cobbled entrance ways and post-built gate structures. Excavated features within rounds include foundations for timber or stone built houses of oval or rectangular plan, often set around the inner edge of the enclosing bank. Other features include hearths, drains, gullies, pits and rubbish middens. Evidence for industrial activity has been recovered from some sites, including small scale metal-working, and some domestic artefacts include items traded from far distant sources. Some rounds are associated with secondary enclosures, often circular or rectangular, and either butted against the round as an annexe or forming an additional enclosure up to 100m away.

Four rounds in west Cornwall 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. Fogous also have an Iron Age and Roman period date range for their use, though with little evidence for their construction after the end of the Iron Age. At least 12 fogous are known to have surviving remains, their national distribution restricted to the far west of Cornwall, in West Penwith and around the upper Helford River. Besides rounds, fogous are associated with various forms of contemporary settlement site including courtyard house settlements 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.

In the Iron Age to Roman settlement hierarchy, rounds are viewed as primarily agricultural settlements, the equivalent of the later farming hamlets, and are usually sited on hill-slopes and spurs. No excavated examples were constructed after the end of the second century AD and rounds had been replaced by unenclosed early medieval settlement types by the seventh century AD, usually on different, lower sites but very occasionally replacing the round on the same site.

Over 400 rounds are recorded nationally, confined in England to Cornwall and south west Devon but closely related to similar settlement forms in Wales and Ireland. The national total may increase significantly as new discoveries of rounds occur frequently, especially through the study of aerial photographs. Rounds are important sources of information on the nature and pattern of settlement and on social organisation during the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west England.

The round at Halliggye survives with its interior substantially intact and with sufficient of its defensive circuit to confirm its original form despite the loss of its southern periphery to medieval and later building. It is one of the few examples of a round containing a fogou. Furthermore, the fifth- fourth century BC dates for the earliest occupation debris revealed by excavation around the fogou make this one of the earliest known rounds, and it is one of the few rounds where near continuous settlement can be demonstrated from the Iron Age, through the Roman and medieval periods to the present day, supported by excavated evidence and, for later periods, by documentary reference. The unusually good survival of broadly contemporary settlement sites in this area, of which this monument forms an integral part, is important for our understanding of the settlement patterns, economy and social organisation during the Iron Age and Roman periods. The fogou in this monument is the largest and most complex example of this rare and unusual class of monument and it has survived well; the excavations were limited in extent, leaving the entire built structure and most surrounding deposits intact while considerably amplifying our knowledge of the nature and development of the fogou and the round containing it.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a later prehistoric to Roman enclosed settlement called a round, incorporating a contemporary complex of underground walled passages called a fogou. The monument is situated in the hamlet of Halliggye, on a low hill overlooking the southern upper tributaries of the Helford River in south west Cornwall. The fogou and its adjoining plots form a monument in the care of the Secretary of State.

The round is situated on gently sloping land west of the hill's summit and is defined by surviving parts of two curving concentric ramparts, 18m-22m apart crest to crest, with a broad sunken ditch between them. Parts of the ramparts are incorporated into modern field and plot boundaries around the present hamlet of Halliggye but their origin as a rampart of quarried stony subsoil has been confirmed by excavation across the modern boundary north west of the fogou. The outermost rampart is visible around the north east quadrant of the enclosure, where it forms a distinct evenly curved bank, 80m long, defining the north east side of the modern hamlet and incorporated into the surrounding and generally more irregular network of Cornish hedges. The bank is 2m-3m wide, rising to 1.5m high on the outer, north eastern side and to 2.5m high on the inner side. Along its outer side, a slight hollow up to 3.5m wide and 0.5m deep, is considered to derive from a largely silted outer ditch.

The inner face of the outer rampart drops to the broad curving ditch between the ramparts. The present flat surface of this ditch remains at a level generally 1m-1.5m below the land to either side and is now occupied by an unmetalled track; a slender plot within the ditch against its south western side at its northern end is a much later modification. This inter-rampart ditch also survives as a visible feature around the north east sector of the round; however excavation in 1980-82 confirmed the continuation of the ditch on the north west side of the round. There, the northernmost narrow passage of the fogou ended at a doorway in the base of the ditch's original profile, 1.83m below the ground surface. The excavation showed that this doorway was later blocked and a much wider and deeper ditch was dug beyond it, over 3.65m deep. This enlarged ditch was eventually deliberately backfilled, probably during the Roman period.

The surviving line of the innermost rampart is visible on the north east, north west and western sides of the round. On the north east, its curving outer scarp forms the inner face of the ditch and is 1.5m-2m high, concentric with the outer rampart and largely incorporated into a garden and property boundary of the modern hamlet. The rampart here is up to c.3m wide and the present ground level contained within it rises up to its crest over most of this sector, masking much of its inner face.

On the north west, the inner rampart is partly preserved within the fabric of the modern hedgebank which forms the north west boundary of the present hamlet's garden plots. This was demonstrated by the 1980-82 excavation north of the fogou, which indicated the stone-revetted north west face of the modern boundary is a much later truncation of the former rampart, the bulk of which extended back from that truncated face. To the south west however, the present straight north west-south west alignment of this modern boundary parts from the original course of the rampart at a tangent, while the curve of the rampart's inner face is considered to be mirrored by the course of the curving western passage of the fogou, described below. Beyond the south west end of that passage, the line of the inner rampart's outer face reappears on the western side of the round as a well defined scarp, 0.7m high, curving across a modern garden plot.

The southern half of the inner rampart's circuit has been destroyed by the construction along its course of the hamlet's modern buildings, some of which are of medieval origin, and yards on plots levelled into the slope, but the surviving evidence of its northern circuit indicates this rampart defined a sub-circular internal area of approximately 50m diameter, encompassing c.0.2ha. Apart from the fogou, this area and those internal features contemporary with the round's occupation are overlain by the hamlet's modern gardens; a north west-south east hedgebank that bisects the internal area of the round and passes over the fogou's curved passage has been identified as a late feature, pertaining to the medieval and later development of the monument, while level differences to each side of that hedge reflect terracing of the natural slope within the round to create garden plots for the medieval and later houses of the hamlet. The surfaces of these garden plots remain well above the level at which surviving occupation deposits were recovered in excavations of the round beside the fogou.

The fogou itself is situated in the north west sector of the round. Its passages run entirely underground and are built partly in a rock-cut trench, walled with drystone rubble and roofed by large covering slabs, called capstones, laid flat across the passages. In plan the fogou contains several distinct sections, shown by the 1980-82 excavation to derive from development over a number of phases.

The fogou is entered from within the north west of the round's interior, where modern steps descend to the floor of an open passage, 0.7m wide and 4.5m long, which slopes down to the north west towards the opening of a straight, covered, north west-south east passage. The open sector is now faced by modern walling but its sloping floor is original and reflects the rise to the fogou's original entrance to the round's interior. The 1980s excavations revealed that this open portion of the fogou was extensively robbed of its stone during the early post-medieval period but enough survived to indicate that its former walling was a later rebuild added to the south east end of the straight passage, considerably narrowing the approach to the round's interior and also involving some modification at the end of the straight passage. The excavation also indicated that a deposit of earth c.1m deep was laid onto the old ground surface over the rebuilt passage, such that this entry passage to the fogou would originally have been visible as a low mound within the round's interior. Pottery evidence suggests that this alteration and rebuild took place between c.75 BC and AD 50.

On a slightly different alignment from the sloping entrance, the straight passage extends north west for 8.55m and is 1.7m wide by 1.85m high, its upper rubble walling sloping inwards slightly below the capstones. At its north west end the passage ends at a rubble blocking containing a doorway, 0.9m high and 0.6m wide, framed by massive slabs.

From the doorway, a much narrower passage continues for a further 4.5m north west but again, on a slightly different alignment to the straight passage. This narrow passage, called the `northern creep', is up to 0.75m wide and 1m high but narrows to 0.5m wide and 0.7m high by its north west end where it terminates at a slab-covered doorway, later blocked, which opened onto the base of the round's original ditch as the original entrance to the fogou from outside the round's inner rampart, as described above. That opening now has a modern blocking to the infilled ditch. The northern creep is divided into two almost equal halves by a slab-built doorway, 0.7m high and 0.5m wide.

Immediately south east of this doorway are gaps in the wall rubble considered to have housed a drawbar to seal the creep passage as necessary. The 1980s excavation also revealed that the south eastern half of the creep, together with its doorway opening to the straight passage, is a later rebuild constricting the formerly longer north west end of the straight passage. In the south west wall of the straight passage, 2m before its north west end, a second slab-framed doorway gives access to a long curving passage extending south west for 18.75m. The initial 2m of this passage from the doorway is straight and constricted to 0.8m-1m wide and 1.25m high. Beyond this restricted entry, the passage enlarges to 1.3m wide and 1.85m high, adopting an even curve over 15m to the south west, to a point where the passage floor is crossed by a ridge of unquarried bedrock, 0.6m high and 0.45m wide. The 1980s excavation indicated that this ridge marks the original terminal of the curved passage and that its present 1.75m continuation to the south west is a later addition, its walls built using generally smaller rubble than was employed for the main length of the passage. This later terminal ends against bedrock but before this, in its ESE face, a very small doorway, 0.5m high and 0.35m wide, provides access to a further short passage, 3m long and up to 1m wide, referred to as the `southern creep'. The southern creep also ends against bedrock. The terminals of neither the curved passage nor the southern creep show any evidence for providing points of entry to the fogou; such an entrance would be unlikely as the curved passage would be overlain by the round's inner rampart; by matching the curve of the passage with the curve of the inner rampart, the depth to which the passage had to be dug to conceal it beneath the ground was lessened as it would be covered by the rampart. An opening in the upper south east wall near the centre of the curved passage was created by 19th century antiquarians; it is approached from the south east by a stone-built stairwell, now largely filled with earth, and is not an original feature of the fogou.

In addition to elucidating the structural elements of the fogou, the excavations of the 1980s also produced some artefactual debris, notably pottery, relating to the occupation of the round and the construction of the fogou; the interior of the fogou itself was found to contain only sparse silted deposits apart from the much later robbing debris. The pottery indicated an Iron Age to Roman occupation with a date range from the fourth- fifth century BC to at least the 2nd century AD, with a remodelling of the fogou's entrance to the round's interior between c.75 BC and AD 50. The pottery also suggested the deliberate backfilling of the round's recut ditch in the Roman period. The round may have been abandoned and the fogou finally sealed at that point but the presence of pottery dating from early post-Roman period through the medieval period to the present day indicates a long continuity of later settlement associated with the round, which received its first documentary reference, as the settlement and manor of `Heligin' in the Domesday Book in 1086.

The dissected terrain around Halliggye contains an unusually high density of surviving settlement sites broadly contemporary with the Iron Age to Roman occupation of the round; these include other rounds in analogous hill-slope situations at Caervallack and at Tremayne, 1.35km and 2.3km to the north east respectively; at Burncoose and at Lower Treloskan, 1.9km and 2.65km to the south west respectively, and above Gweek Wood, 2.4km to the north west. A much larger enclosed settlement, a hillfort called Gear Camp, is situated across a spur from 1km NNE of this monument.

All English Heritage notices, fixtures and fittings, (including modern steps and walling) all garden furniture, modern fences, gates, the greenhouse and the stone-built privy are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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
Clarke, E, Cornish Fougous, (1961)
Clarke, E, Cornish Fougous, (1961), 28-34
Hencken, H O'N, The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly, (1932)
Hencken, H O'N, The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly, (1932)
Thorn, C, F, , Doomsday Book; 10: Cornwall, (1979)
Thorn, C, F, , Doomsday Book; 10: Cornwall, (1979)
Iago, W, Vyvyan, R R, Blight, J T, 'JRIC' in The Fogou, or Cave, at Halligey, Trelowarren, (1885), 243-263
Iago, W, Vyvyan, R R, Blight, J T, 'JRIC' in The Fogou, or Cave, at Halligey, Trelowarren, (1885), 243-263
Startin, D W A, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Halligye Fogou: Excavations in 1981, , Vol. 21, (1982), 185-6
Other
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 24693,
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 24758,
DoE/HBMC, Ancient Monuments Terrier for CO 387, Halliggye Fougou, (1984)
DoE/HBMC, Ancient Monuments Terrier for CO 387; Halliggye Fougou, (1984)
Johns, C, Halliggye Fogou, November 1991: Report to English Heritage, 1991, Unpublished report text
Johns, C, Halliggye Fogou, November 1991: Report to English Heritage, 1991, Unpublished report text
Startin, D W A, Halligey Fogou: Excavations 1980-82, Unpublished first draft
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map: SW 7123 Source Date: 1994 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1994 updated Horizon V2 printout
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Maps: 'SW52/62 & part SW72' and 'Parts SW72 & SW82' Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 71331 23941

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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