Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

EN0606: Bury Castle  

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HER:  Cornwall and Scilly MCO33 (1539)

NMR:  SX 16 NW 8 (432566)

SM:  1004457

NGR:  SX13536962

X:  213530  Y:  69620  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Oval and complex, 'multivallate', partial contour hillfort located just off crest of SE-facing hill NE of Cardinham village. Oval in plan, c. 188m N-S and 125m E-W. Inner, and principal, well-preserved rampart, to c. 3m high, topped by c. 0.6m high stone wall, with ditch averaging c. 1m deep, forms a univallate enclosure of c. 1.5ha. Strengthened on N side of fort, on level hilltop, and effectively cutting off approach, by two extra banks and ditches, the outer ploughed, terminating abruptly on W and E sides. The inner of these two banks refashioned and now a c. 1.6m - 2.0m high stone-revetted bank with slight outer ditch, seemingly joined to site by another rampart to form an annexe, possibly indicating phasing to site. The outer bank lies in an occasionally ploughed pasture field, rampart and ditch still traceable at 0.5m high and 0.3m deep respectively. Two 0.5m deep ditches wind down the hill on W side, but these are probably hollow ways from Little Bury farmstead. NE entrance now extensively mutilated, probably inturned, and is protected by two outer banks, also mutilated. Interior sloping to SE has numerous large granite boulders spread over its S half, but none form any identifiable pattern. W side of the hill fort covered by dense vegetation; the terminals of the two outer works here have clearly been disturbed at some period and the exact nature and purpose of two 0.9m high oval mounds are difficult to ascertain. Dense scrub on part. No excavations to this disturbed, but generally well-preserved site. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882). Undated.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -515476  Y:  6532720  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.630602  Latitude:  50.496562  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  England

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Cornwall

Historic County:   Cornwall

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Cardinham

Condition

Damaged in part; especially entrance, but elsewhere generally well preserved. West side scrub covered. Second outer rampart to N lies in pasture, occasionally ploughed, and with the bank spread. Numerous large granite boulders spread over S half of interior.

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

W side of the hillfort covered by dense scrub vegetation.

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

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Oval and complex 'multivallate' hillfort located just off crest of SE-facing hill NE of Cardinham village.

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

Topographic Position

Located just off the crest of a south-facing, gently sloping hillside

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

Dominant Topographic Feature:  SE-facing hill.

Aspect

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

Elevation

Altitude:  253.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

None

Reliability:  D - None

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

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Investigations

Shown on 1st ed. 1" OS map 1813. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882). Field investigation Ordnance Survey 1973. RCHME Measured Survey 1978.

1st Identified Map Depiction (1813):  OS Ist ed. 1' map.
Other (1882):  OS map
Other (1973):  Field investigation OS.
Earthwork Survey (1978):  RCHME Measured Survey.

Interior Features

None

Water Source

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

Surface

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 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

NE entrance now extensively mutilated. Probably inturned and is protected by two outer banks, also mutilated.

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (Northeast):  In-turned:  Mutilated.
Entrance 1 (Northeast):  Outworks:  Protected by two outer banks, also mutilated.

Enclosing Works

Inner, and principal, well-preserved rampart, to c. 3m high, topped by c. 0.6m high stone wall, with ditch averaging c. 1m deep, forms an enclosure of c. 1.5ha. Strengthened on N side of fort, on the level hilltop,and effectively cutting off the approach, by two extra banks and ditches, the outer ploughed, terminating abruptly on W and E sides. The inner of these two banks has been refashioned and now a c. 1.6m - 2.0m high stone-revetted bank with slight outer ditch, seemingly joined to the site by another rampart to form an annexe. The outer bank lies in an occasionally ploughed pasture field, the rampart and ditch still traceable at 0.5m high and 0.3m deep respectively. Two 0.5m deep ditches wind down the hill on the W side, but these are probably hollow-ways from Little Bury farmstead.

Enclosed Area 1:  1.5ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  1.5ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✓  Possibly phased construction.

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  Only main inner bank defined in quadrants, as inner of two outer banks possibly suggestive of annexe, with an additional outer bank.

Number of Ramparts:  3

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  3
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  3

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

Stone revetment in evidence.

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:  3

Annex

Annex:  ✓  Fort strengthened on N side on the level hilltop, and effectively cutting off the approach, by two extra banks and ditches, the outer ploughed, terminating abruptly on W and E sides. The inner of these two banks has been refashioned at some stage and is now a c. 1.6m - 2.0m high stone-revetted bank with slight outer ditch, seemingly joined to the site by another rampart to form an annexe.

References

Johnson, N. and Rose, P. 1994. Bodmin Moor; an archaeological survey, Vol I, 48, Fig 32, RCHME Suppl Rept II.

Page, W. ed. 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, 1, London: James Street, 463.

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.

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