Hillfort 225m north east of Bosvisack


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016065

Date first listed: 14-Jan-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort 225m north east of Bosvisack
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kenwyn

National Grid Reference: SW 78269 46258


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

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The small multivallate hillfort north east of Bosvisack survives well as one of only few examples in Cornwall. The monument will contain archaeological information relating to the construction and use of the site, the lives of its inhabitants, and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort located on the eastern end of a natural spur which sits above and between two arms of the River Kenwyn; these two arms of the river conjoin 650m east of the monument. The hillfort has a near circular defended area with an inner bank, and an outer bank which is partly preserved within the fabric of more modern hedge-banks. The outer bank is, in places, 3m wide and 1.2m high with an additional 1m drop on the exterior. Elsewhere, the line of the outer rampart is seen in the clear breaks of slope. The inner bank, which lay some 15m inside the outer bank, was recorded in the early part of the 20th century but no longer survives above ground. The interior of the hillfort is 140m by 160m, encompassing about 2.25ha. Although previously subject to cultivation and now level, the interior was reported in the early part of the 20th century to have had traces of mounds, thought to be the remains of round houses or other structures. All fencing and fence posts, gates and gate posts, a concrete water cistern and all modern walling are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 29616

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Parochial Antiquities of the Hundred of Powder, (1925), 197-8
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Kenwyn, , Vol. 4, (1965), 77
Pitcher, G H, (1965)
Title: Source Date: 1987 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1840 Tithe Award Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Field No 3369

End of official listing