Bake Rings later prehistoric-Roman round with attached enclosure and outwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017682

Date first listed: 14-Apr-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Bake Rings later prehistoric-Roman round with attached enclosure and outwork
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Pelynt

National Grid Reference: SX 18693 54939, SX 18793 54871


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

Reasons for Designation

Rounds are small embanked enclosures with an external ditch, usually circular or oval, forming one of a range of known settlement types dating to the later Iron Age and Roman periods. They usually have a single earth-and-rubble bank and outer ditch, broken by one entrance gap. Excavated examples have produced dry-stone supporting walls within the bank, paved or cobbled entrance-ways and post-built gate structures. Excavated features within rounds have included foundations of timber, turf 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 activities has been recovered from some sites, including small-scale metal-working, and among the domestic debris occur items traded from 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. Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlements, the equivalents of farming hamlets, replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th century A.D.. Over 750 rounds are recorded nationally, occurring throughout the areas bordering the Irish Sea, and confined in England to Cornwall and SW Devon. They are most densely concentrated in west Cornwall and are usually sited on hill-slopes and spurs. They are particularly important as one of the major sources of information on settlement and social organisation in the Iron Age and Roman periods in south-west England. Consequently sites displaying an extensively complete plan representative of the range of known types, topographical locations and geographical spread will normally be considered as nationally important. Bake Rings is particularly important as an example of the rare sub-group of rounds with a rectangular annexe, and of an even smaller number with a visible outwork. Its importance is enhanced by its situation in an area far from the main concentration of rounds and by retaining an almost complete ground plan.


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


The monument of Bake Rings includes a near-circular defended settlement, the round, with a sub-rectangular annexe attached to its eastern side and a curved bank and ditch covering the annexe's SE corner. The round consists of an almost circular internal area, c.55m by 50m, defined by a bank and outer ditch. The bank survives 10m wide and rises to 0.5m above the interior level. The ditch is visible 8m - 15m wide, surviving to a maximum depth of 1m below the external ground surface. The sub-rectangular annexe has an internal area of 85m by 75m, and hence is larger than the round to which it was attached. It is defined by a bank and outer ditch of similar proportions except along its line of abutment with the E side of the round's ditch where its bank is absent. The SE corner of its ditch is truncated by the line of the modern road passing the E side of the monument. To the SE of that road, a limited secondary line of earthworks survives as a curving bank, 1m high, with a largely silted outer ditch. This outwork mirrors the curve of the annexe's SE corner and provides a strengthening of the defences at the site of a possible entrance to the annexe. Rounds were agricultural settlements mostly constructed in the period 2nd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. Although the Bake Rings round has not been excavated, confirmation of its likely later Prehistoric to Roman date comes from the discovery of a squat beehive quern within the SE sector of the round's defence bank. This monument has been mentioned in antiquarian accounts since the early 19th century, when the ditches still survived to a depth of 3m. The monument occupies a shallow saddle in the summit of a low hill in improved pasture on the deeply dissected terrain 4.5km N of the SE Cornish coast. This monument is divided into two separate constraint areas. The hedges, gates and gate-posts that impinge on the site of the monument are excluded from the scheduling, but the land beneath them, including the earthen hedge-banks, 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: 15008

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987)
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987)
MacLaughlan, H, 'Reports of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in Reports of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, , Vol. 31, (1846)
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 25160: Bake Rings,
Raymond, F., MPP Monument Class Description: Rounds, (1987)
Recorded on A.M.107 form, Sheppard, P.A., (recorded on AM107 form), (1983)
Recorded on AM7 form, Rees, S.E., (recorded on AM7 form), (1976)
supplied by the landowner, Eastley, JE, (1990)

End of official listing