Multiple enclosure fort 320m north west of Shepherds Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019494

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Multiple enclosure fort 320m north west of Shepherds Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 14:58:27.


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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Newlyn East

National Grid Reference: SW 81557 54794


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 320m north west of Shepherds Farm survives reasonably well, remaining visible on the ground despite ploughing, and being clearly defined on aerial photographs. The old land surface underlying the ramparts, and remains of buildings, structures and other deposits associated with the base of the ramparts and any external ditches can be expected to survive along with the interiors of the enclosures. The location on the brow of a hill illustrates the role of topography in the siting of later prehistoric enclosures. The crescentic plan of the outer enclosure, and the inturned ramparts flanking the outer entrance, illustrate well the diversity of form within this monument type.


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


The scheduling includes a later prehistoric multiple enclosure fort situated on a moderate slope on the south east shoulder of a rounded hill south west of St Newlyn East. The overall ground plan of the fort is shown on aerial photographs. It is sub-oval in plan, measuring approximately 130m north east- south west by 110m north west-south east. It has low ramparts around 6m wide, consisting of earth and stone which would have been dug from external ditches of similar width. They form an inner enclosure with an outer enclosure surrounding it on the north and east. The inner enclosure is egg-shaped in plan, measuring approximately 100m north east-south west and 60m north west-south east. It has an entrance on the north east side. The outer enclosure, crescentic in plan, is approximately 20m wide, broadening to 30m on the north side and tapering to the inner enclosure on the north west and south sides. Its entrance is aligned with that of the inner enclosure; the ends of the rampart either side of the entrance are slightly inturned.

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: 32920

Legacy System: RSM


Dyer, CA, Cornwall Mapping Project, (1999)
Dyer, CA, to Parkes, C, (2000)
RAF 3G TUD UK222 5047, (1946)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1879 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1906 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: St Newlyn East Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 915

End of official listing