Hillfort 250m south west of Tresawsen


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016445

Date first listed: 25-Oct-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort 250m south west of Tresawsen
© 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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016445 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 09:41:07.


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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Perranzabuloe

National Grid Reference: SW 78419 49541


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

Reasons for Designation

Multiple enclosure forts comprise an inner and one or more outer enclosed areas, together measuring up to c.10ha, and defined by sub-circular or sub- rectangular earthworks spaced at intervals which exceed 15m; the inner enclosure is usually entirely surrounded by a bank and ditch. The forts date mainly to the Late Iron Age (350 BC-c.AD 50) and in England usually occur in the south west. Most are sited on hillslopes overlooked by higher ground near a water supply, and many were apparently used for periods of up to 250 years. The outer enclosures of the forts are usually interpreted as areas set aside for the containment of livestock, whilst the inner enclosures are generally thought to have been the focus of occupation. The earthworks usually include a bank with an outer V-shaped ditch 1m-3m deep. Entrances are generally single gaps through each line of defence, often aligned to create a passage from the outer to the inner enclosure, although there are a few examples where entrances through successive earthworks are not in alignment. Occasionally the interval between the gaps is marked by inturned ramparts or low banks and ditches, while the outer entrance may be screened by a short length of earthwork. Excavations within the inner enclosures have revealed a range of buildings and structures, including circular structures, hearths, ovens and cobbled surfaces as well as occasional small pits and large depressions which may have functioned as watering holes. Multiple enclosure forts are relatively rare with only around 75 examples recorded in England, mostly in Devon and Cornwall. Outside these counties their distribution becomes increasingly scattered and the form and construction methods more varied. They are important for the study of settlement and stock management in the later prehistoric period, and most well-preserved examples will be identified as being of national importance.

The multiple enclosure fort at Tresawsen survives well and 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 later prehistoric hillfort, known as a multiple enclosure fort, situated on a gentle north facing hill slope about 500m west of a springhead. The interior of the fort is surrounded by two concentric lines of defence. The inner, near perfect oval-shaped area is 76m north-south by 50m east-west, resulting in an internal area of 3.8ha. It is defended by a rampart, which survives with a height of about 2m along its eastern circuit where it has been incorporated into a hedge bank. No gap is apparent in this surviving section which suggests that the entrance way was elsewhere on the circuit. The inner rampart was fronted by a ditch which is visible as a depression to the east of a section where the rampart survives in the hedge bank. The remainder of the inner circuit to the west, which is not apparent when under cultivation, has been recorded in previous years as an undulation. Completely encompassing the inner rampart was an outer, near concentric enclosure formed by a further ring of defences not now visible above ground but recorded and mapped in earlier literature and shown as two concentric lines of defence on a map of 1860. These outer defences are believed to represent a further bank and ditch which stood at a maximum distance of about 20m forward of the inner circuit. All fencing and fence posts and gates and gate posts, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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.


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

Legacy System number: 29671

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Polwhele, R, History of Cornwall, (1803), 211
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parish of Perranzabuloe, , Vol. 2, (1963), 70
Mercer, RJ, AM7, (1970)
Title: Ordnance Survey Source Date: 1860 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing