Round 200m north west of Penventinnie
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1016063
Date first listed: 14-Oct-1975
Date of most recent amendment: 08-Jul-1997
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SW 79376 46037
Reasons for Designation
Rounds are small embanked enclosures, one of a range of settlement types
dating to between the later Iron Age and the early post-Roman period. Usually
circular or oval, they have a single earth and rubble bank and an outer ditch,
with one entrance breaking the circuit.
Excavations have produced drystone supporting walls within the bank, paved or
cobbled entrance ways, post built gate structures, and remains of timber, turf
or stone built houses of oval or rectangular plan, often set around the inner
edge of the enclosing bank. Other evidence includes hearths, drains, gullies,
pits and rubbish middens. Evidence for industrial activities has been
recovered from some sites, including small scale metal working and, among the
domestic debris, items traded from distant sources. Some rounds are associated
with secondary enclosures, either abutting the round as an annexe or forming
an additional enclosure.
Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlements, the equivalents of
farming hamlets. They were replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th
century AD. Over 750 rounds are recorded in the British Isles, occurring in
areas bordering the Irish Seas, but confined in England to south west Devon
and especially Cornwall, where many more examples may await discovery. Most
recorded examples are sited on hillslopes and spurs.
Rounds are important as one of the major sources of information on settlement
and social organisation of the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west
England. Consequently, sites with significant surviving remains will normally
be considered to be of national importance.
The round north west of Penventinnie is a well preserved example of its class and will retain archaeological evidence for the monument's construction, the lives of its inhabitants, and the landscape in which they lived.
The monument includes a near circular defended late prehistoric enclosure, or
round, with an inner bank and wide outer ditch, located just off the summit of
a natural north facing spur. The site of the round is on the south eastern
facing side of the spur above a tributary of the River Kenwyn. It consists of
an oval interior area, 85m north east - south west by 60m north west - south
east, defended by a single earthen rampart surviving 8m wide and 2m high
around the entire circuit except where entrance ways occur. An original
entrance on the north east side has been complemented by a more recent
entrance on the south west. Surrounding the rampart is an outer ditch 3.5m
wide and 1.8m deep on the northern side but far less easily distinguishable on
the southern side where colluvial deposits have probably settled into the
down-slope portion of the ditch. The outer scarp of the rampart forms the
inner face of the ditch. The enclosure possesses the natural outer defences of
the Kenwyn River and its tributaries on three sides, the remaining open side
being to the south west.
The area around Penventinnie includes other sites broadly contemporary with
the Iron Age to Roman occupation of the round; these include other rounds at
Threemilestone, Higher Besore, and Polstain, 1.4km, 1.45km, and 1.9km to the
south west respectively, and at Carvinack 2km to the north west. A much larger
enclosed settlement, a hillfort at Bosvisack, is situated on high ground 1km
to the west of this monument.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 29614
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Henderson, C, Parochial Antiquities III, (1925), 197
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Kenwyn, , Vol. 4, (1965), 77
Sheppard, P A, Collection AM12, (1979)
Thomas, R, Letter to the West Briton, (1851)
Title: Ordnance Survey Source Date: 1860 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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.
End of official listing