Warbstow Bury, Warbstow, Cornwall: Archaeological Survey Report

Author(s): Zoe Edwards

Warbstow Bury is a multivallate hillfort in Warbstow, north Cornwall. It affords substantial views overlooking north Cornwall and the coast, and is one of the largest and best persevered hillforts in the county. The findings of this survey and investigation indicate that, in contrast to previous belief, the middle of three ramparts was most likely the first phase of construction. This is now lost in the east where it is overlain by the impressive inner rampart. There are entrances at the south-east and north-west which are thought to be original, although later modified. An inturned entrance on the south-east suggests controlled entry, although no evidence of the activities which took place within the hillfort in the Iron Age could be determined from the earthworks. It is possible that this phase of construction included facing the inner rampart with quartz, and enhancing the outer rampart with stone walling. However the stone wall may have been added when the ramparts were used as field boundaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. An internal long mound has been interpreted as a pillow mound, as opposed to the burial place of King Arthur or Warbstow Giant as folklore suggests. This, and other slight earthworks which may relate to a beacon for Queen Victoria’s 1887 jubilee, overlie slight ridge and furrow in the interior. During the Second World War, two sentry boxes were terraced into the inner rampart where the Warbstow Home Guard could watch over the landscape for enemy aircraft.

Report Number:
Research Report


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