Veryan Castle multiple enclosure fort and annexe 500m south west of Churchtown Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019746

Date first listed: 02-Mar-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Mar-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Veryan Castle multiple enclosure fort and annexe 500m south west of Churchtown Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Veryan

National Grid Reference: SW 90927 38786

Summary

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.

Veryan Castle multiple enclosure fort and annexe 500m south west of Churchtown Farm survive well. Despite reduction of the annexe earthworks and modification of the outer rampart, they remain substantially intact. The old land surface underlying the upstanding earthworks, and remains of buildings and structures and other deposits associated with these, will survive.

History

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

Details

The scheduling includes a later prehistoric multiple enclosure fort and annexe, situated on a steep west slope to a stream above Gerrans Bay, south west of Veryan. The fort has an inner enclosure, egg-shaped in plan, with a concentric outer enclosure on the south and east sides, and a crescentic annexe beyond this, the whole being sub-oval in plan and measuring approximately 180m north west-south east by 130m north east-south west. The inner enclosure, measuring 60m north-south by 42m east-west internally, is levelled into the slope by cutting in on the uphill side and building out downhill. On the east side it has an enclosing bank approximately 6m-8m wide and 6m high, formed by an earth and stone rampart above the scarp cut to level the enclosure, with an external ditch 2.2m-4m wide at its base and around 4m deep. On the west side the enclosure is defined by a scarp up to 7.5m high, having no visible inward facing bank, but with a terrace around its base 3m-4m wide and sloping slightly outwards, considered to be a silted external ditch, above a very steep natural slope. An original entrance from the outer enclosure to the south east is visible as a gap some 6m wide on the south side, between the bank on the east side and the scarp on the west side. The outer enclosure of the fort, surrounding the inner enclosure on the south and east sides, measures up to 25m across and slopes west with the natural gradient. A boundary bank of earth and stone with stone facing, relatively recent in its present form, is considered to incorporate remains of the rampart around this enclosure. The northern part of the boundary bank is 2m wide and 2m high inside, 1.5m high outside, and has an external ditch 2.6m wide and up to 0.6m deep. On the south west side the return to the inner enclosure is formed by a scarp some 6m across and 2m-3m high. The original entrance to the outer enclosure is considered to be on the south side, where it is approached by a hollow way. The annexe adjoining the fort to the south east has an enclosing bank visible on the ground as a scarp around 12m across and 0.7m high, with traces of an external ditch. The bank and ditch are shown on aerial photographs. All modern fencing, gateposts, gates, and the timber stile and signpost, 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: 32939

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
SW 93 NW 2, CC, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project Source Date: 1995 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1880 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Veryan Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1296, 1297

End of official listing