Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

EN0603: Berry Castle  

(Berry)

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

HER:  Cornwall and Scilly MCO25 (1566)

NMR:  SX 16 NE 5 (432358)

SM:  1004455

NGR:  SX19706895

X:  219700  Y:  68950  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Roughly rectangular possible hillslope enclosure with annexe and outwork and outlying stone hut circle sited on S-facing boulder strewn slopes close to summit of prominent Berry Down. Measures c. 110m long by 82m wide enclosing 2ha. The site utilises a natural scarp on S to form a double rampart. Main rampart of stone and earth to 1.5m high incorporating rock outcrops and utilising natural rocky scarp to S, but no ditch. Site possibly unfinished in part. To SE not particularly strong curving outwork forms an annexe to 0.5ha and defined by bank to 1m high with slight outer ditch and enclosing rough boulder strewn slope, and attached to hillfort at E end running into boulders and apparently terminating to W; again possibly incomplete. Hollow way leads from inturned inner bank entrance, cutting inturned outer rampart to form original passage on SE. Nine stone hut circles or possible granite cairns, measuring c. 8m to 14m diameter, with one outside to N on summit of hill. Most have entrances on SE, and all with roughly laid out boulders with few orthostats. Between the ramparts small natural platform used for commemorative bonfires exposed revealing flooring of small stones with quantity of 13th-14th century pottery sherds. Much surface quarrying for granite and tin prospecting over all site. Two or three tumuli on S side. Possible Neolithic Tor enclosure suggested by Oswald et al (2001), however, also considered prehistoric hillslope enclosure and settlement. Nearest field systems at foot of hill. Moorland site much affected by quarrying and prospecting, bjut general fair condition. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882). Undated.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Unconfirmed:  Possible Neolithic Tor enclosure suggested by Oswald et al (2001). However, also considered prehistoric hillslope enclosure and settlement.

Location

X:  -505766  Y:  6532005  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.543375  Latitude:  50.492475  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  England

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Cornwall

Historic County:   Cornwall

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  St Neot

Condition

Much surface quarrying for granite and tin prospecting over all site, but fair condition generally.

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Moorland site with scrub. Much quarrying features.

Woodland:  
Commercial Forestry Plantation:  
Parkland:  
Pasture (Grazing):  
Arable:  
Scrub/Bracken:  
Bare Outcrop:  
Heather/Moorland:  
Heath:  
Built-up:  
Coastal Grassland:  
Other:  

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Hillslope enclosure with annexe and outwork and outlying stone hut circle sited on S-facing boulder strewn slopes close to the summit of the prominent Berry Down. hill.

Contour Fort:  
Partial Contour Fort:  
Promontory Fort:  
Hillslope Fort:  
Level Terrain Fort:  
Marsh Fort:  
Multiple Enclosure Fort:  

Topographic Position

Located just below the summit of Berry Down

Hilltop:  
Coastal Promontory:  
Inland Promontory:  
Valley Bottom:  
Knoll/Hillock/Outcrop:  
Ridge:  
Cliff/Plateau-edge/Scarp:  
Hillslope:  
Lowland:  
Spur:  

Dominant Topographic Feature:  Isolated hill.

Aspect

North:  
Northeast:  
East:  
Southeast:  
South:  
Southwest:  
West:  
Northwest:  
Level:  

Elevation

Altitude:  274.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

Possible Neolithic Tor enclosure suggested by Oswald et al (2001). However, later prehistoric hillslope enclosure and settlement also likely.

Reliability:  D - None

Pre 1200BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
400BC - AD50:  
AD50 - AD400:  
AD400 - AD 800:  
Post AD800:  
Unknown:  

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Possible. Two or three tumuli on S side and possible Neolithic Tor enclosure suggested by Oswald et al (2001).

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Quantity of 13th-14th century pottery sherds. Modern commemorative bonfires. Much surface quarrying for granite and tin prospecting over all site. Field systems at foot of hill.

Investigations

Recorded as early as 1440 - no details. On 1813 1' OS map. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882). Field investigation Ordnance Survey 1973.

1st Identified Written Reference (1440):  No details.
1st Identified Map Depiction (1813):  OS 1' map.
Other (1882):  OS map.
Other (1973):  Field investigation OS.

Interior Features

Nine plus stone hut circles or possible granite cairns, measuring c. 8m to 14m diameter, with one outside to N on summit of hill. Most have entrances on SE, and all with roughly laid out boulders with few orthostats.

Water Source

None:  
Spring:  
Stream:  
Pool:  
Flush:  
Well:  
Other:  

Surface

Nine plus stone hut circles or possible granite cairns, measuring c. 8m to 14m diameter, with one outside to N on summit of hill. Most have entrances on SE, and all with roughly laid out boulders with few orthostats. Two or three tumuli on S side.

No Known Features:  
Round Stone Structures:  
Rectangular Stone Structures:  
Curvilinear Platforms:  
Other Roundhouse Evidence:  
Pits:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  

Excavation

No Known Excavation:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Geophysics

No Known Geophysics:  
Pits:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Finds

No finds associated with hillfort occupation.

No Known Finds:  
Pottery:  
Metal:  
Metalworking:  
Human Bones:  
Animal Bones:  
Lithics:  
Environmental:  
Other:  

Aerial

APs Not Checked:  
None:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Other:  

Entrances

Hollow way leads from inturned inner bank entrance, cutting inturned outer rampart to form original passage on SE.

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (Southeast):  In-turned:  Hollow way leads from inturned inner bank entrance and cuts inturned outer rampart on SE.
Entrance 1 (Southeast):  Hollow Way

Enclosing Works

Single rampart of stone and earth measuring to 1.5m high incorporating rock outcrops and utilises a natural rocky scarp to the S. To SE curving outwork, defined by bank of up to 1m high and enclosing a rough boulder strewn slope, is attached to the hillfort at the E end and runs into boulders and apparently terminates to the W, single ditch.

Enclosed Area 1:  2.0ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  2.0ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  1

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  1

Current Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  
Unknown:  

Multi-period Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:  
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  

Surface Evidence

Single rampart of stone and earth measuring to 1.5m high incorporates rock outcrops. Site possibly unfinished in part.

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Rubble:  
Wall-walk:  
Evidence of Timber:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
Other:  

Excavated Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Murus Duplex:  
Timber-framed:  
Timber-laced:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
No Known Excavation:  
Other:  

Gang Working

Gang Working:  ✗ 

Ditches

Ditches:  

Number of Ditches:  1

Annex

Annex:  ✓  To SE not particularly strong curving outwork forms an annexe to 0.5ha and defined by bank to 1m high with slight outer ditch and enclosing rough boulder strewn slope, and attached to hillfort at E end running into boulders and apparently terminating to W; again possibly incomplete.

References

Fletcher, M. 1989. Stowes Pound; in Bowden, M., Topping, P. and MacKay, D. (eds), From Cornwall To Caithness, British Archaeol Rep no. 209, 71-9.

Lysons, D. and Lysons, S. 1814. Magna Britannia. Vol 3, Cornwall.

Mitchell, J. 1933. The parochial history of St Neots.

Oswald, A., Dyer, C. and Barber, M. 2001. The creation of monuments. Neolithic causewayed enclosures in the British Isles,, Swindon: English Heritage, No 120.

Page, W. ed. 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, 1, London: James Street, 462.

Polsue, J. ed. 1867-72, Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall.

Silvester, R. 1989.The Relationship of First Millennium Settlement to the Upland Areas of the South-West. Proc Devon Archaeol Soc, 37, 176-90.

Terms of Use

The online version of the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland should be cited as:

Lock, G. and Ralston, I. 2017.  Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.