Later prehistoric to Roman round and enclosures with medieval field system 260m west of Coosewartha Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019744

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Later prehistoric to Roman round and enclosures with medieval field system 260m west of Coosewartha Farm
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Location

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Agnes

National Grid Reference: SW 71841 46755

Summary

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

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 later prehistoric to Roman round and enclosures, and medieval field system, 260m west of Coosewartha Farm survive well. Despite reduction of the enclosing banks by ploughing, their earthworks are substantial. The old land surface underlying the upstanding earthworks, and remains of any buildings, structures and other deposits associated with these, will survive. The evidence for an inner bank to the round is unusual and illustrates variety of form within this monument type. The close grouping of the round and enclosures is also unusual and will provide information on later prehistoric to Roman period social and economic organisation; the clipping of the southern enclosure by the round indicates development in these aspects over time. The development of land use on this hillslope over a much longer time-scale is demonstrated by the survival of the medieval field system as an upstanding feature adjacent to the earlier round and enclosures.

History

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

Details

The scheduling includes a round and an adjacent pair of enclosures of the later prehistoric to Roman period, together with the upstanding remains of an adjacent medieval field system, situated on a moderate south facing slope south of St Agnes. Also within the area of protection are some features from a 19th century copper and tin mine. The round, in the north east of the scheduling, is egg-shaped in plan, measuring approximately 130m north east-south west by 100m north west-south east. It has an outer enclosing bank of earth and stone averaging 6m wide by 0.45m high but up to 8.5m wide and 0.6m high, visible as a scarp 1m high around the downhill side, with an external ditch 5m wide and 0.3m deep. An inner bank some 5.5m within this is shown on aerial photographs, and is visible on the ground around the north side as a bank 6m wide and 0.3m high on the inside with only a slight outer face. An entrance to the south west is shown on the aerial photographs. The interior is sloping, with pronounced irregular hollows considered to be associated with a 19th century mine, described below. The enclosure in the north west of the scheduling is irregular in plan, measuring up to 100m NNE-SSW by 65m WNW-ESE. Around most of the perimeter is an enclosing bank of earth and stone averaging 5.5m wide and 0.5m high outside, having only a slight inner face, with a buried external ditch forming a break in slope 4m wide. Aerial photographs show the bank and ditch continuing around the north side, beyond a modern hedge crossing the enclosure ENE-WSW. A gap in the earthworks on the north west side may be an original entrance. The sloping interior has depressions considered to be associated with mining. The enclosure in the south east of the scheduling, adjoining that on the north east, is sub-oval in plan, measuring approximately 80m north west-south east by 70m north east-south west overall. Aerial photographs show an outer enclosing bank with an inner bank around the north and west sides; slight traces of the banks are visible on the ground on the north side. The interior is sloping. The enclosure is cut by the ditch of the adjoining round on the north east side, by the field system on the south, and by mining remains. The medieval field system in the south of the scheduling is shown on aerial photographs and is visible on the ground as slight earthworks. It is bounded to the north by a bank around 8m wide and up to 0.5m high, attached to the north west of the enclosure in the south east of the scheduling and curves south west. Parallel slightly curving ditches running downslope south of this are considered to have been attached to it, and to define at least 10 slightly raised strip fields. The strips are 10m-20m wide, and around 75m long within the scheduling; some continue south beyond this scheduling, appearing as cropmarks for a similar distance. Irregular hollows and largely levelled mounds within and beside the round, enclosures, and field system, are considered to be remains of the workings of Victoria Mine, a copper and tin mine active from the mid-19th century. The hollows vary from 7m across to 9.5m by 23m, and from 0.2m to 0.8m deep. Some probably result from prospecting for east-west lodes. A substantial oval mound at SW91913873 may mark the site of a nearby shaft. The round and enclosures are closely associated with further enclosures visible as cropmarks beyond this scheduling. All modern gateposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 32937

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Hamilton Jenkin, A K, Mines and Miners of Cornwall, (1962), 47
Thomas, R, Letter to the West Briton, (1851)
Warner, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Check-List of Antiquities, , Vol. 1, (1962), 114
Other
Report at CAU, Thomas, N, An Assessment of the Sevenstone to North Country Water Main, (1996)
Report at CAU, Thomas, N, An Assessment of the Sevenstone to North Country Water Main, (1996)
Rose, PG, CAU SMR, (1980)
SW 74 NW 17, King, AN, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1970)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project Source Date: 2000 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Map of the St Agnes Mining District, Cornwall Source Date: 1870 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1880 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1908 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 2" field drawing Source Date: 1811 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: St Agnes Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: St Agnes Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 2239
Title: St Agnes Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 2239, 2258

End of official listing