Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

EN0607: Cadson Bury  

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HER:  Cornwall and Scilly MCO34 (6865)

NMR:  SX 36 NW 5 (436704)

SM:  1004494

NGR:  SX3433067385

X:  234330  Y:  67385  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Univallate, egg-shaped, contour hillfort sited in a commanding position above River Lynher to E, on and enclosing summit of hill called Cadson Bury Down near Callington. Very steep surrounding slopes to E, steep to S and W and moderate to steep to N where ridge. Rampart follows 94m contour. Dimensions c. 255m N-S by 145m E-W, encloses 2.53ha. Bank rises to c. 4.5m high on its outside with outer ditch up to 1.5m wide and to 1.3m deep to the S, but this gives way to a berm on N half. Two well-preserved original inturned entrances to the SE and (possibly) NW. A staggered S breach may also be original and cut through by footpath. Chance find of a spindle whorl on SE slope. 'Cadsonbury' was first recorded in the 13th century, and its earliest depiction was on Martyn's map of 1748. It was described by D. and S. Lysons in 1814. Interior largely level and scrub covered. Well-preserved National Trust property. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882-83).

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -482749  Y:  6530301  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.336608  Latitude:  50.482735  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  England

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Cornwall

Historic County:   Cornwall

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  St Ives

Condition

Well-preserved National Trust property. On Heritage at Risk Register (2015).

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Scrub covered to SE and formerly ploughed and seeded. Wooded E slopes to river.

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

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Univallate, egg-shaped, contour hillfort sited in commanding position above River Lynher to E, on and enclosing summit of hill called Cadson Bury Down near Callington. Very steep surrounding slopes to E, steep to S and W and moderate to steep to N where ridge.

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

Topographic Position

Steep sided hilltop which roughly follows the 91m contour

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

Dominant Topographic Feature:  Hill top

Aspect

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

Elevation

Altitude:  94.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  Parish/Townland:  Parish boundary with St. Mellion 100m to E

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  St. Mellion

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

'Cadsonbury' first recorded 1262. Earliest depiction on Martyn's map of 1748 and described by Lysons in 1814. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882-83). Historic Landscape Chacterisation Survey - Management Survey Lynher Valley, Cornwall County Council 2000.

1st Identified Written Reference (1262):  'Cadsonbury' first recorded - no details.
1st Identified Map Depiction (1748):  Martyn's map.
Other (1814):  D. Lysons and S. Lysons description.
Other (1882-83):  OS map.
Other (2000):  Historic Landscape Chacterisation Survey - Management Survey Lynher Valley, Cornwall County Council.

Interior Features

Chance find of an (undefined) spindle whorl on SE slope.

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

Chance find of an (undefined) spindle whorl on SE slope.

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

Two well-preserved original inturned entrances to SE and (possibly) NW. Staggered S breach may also be original.

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:  4:  NW and S breach uncertain.

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (Southeast):  In-turned
Entrance 2 (Northwest):  In-turned:  Possibly original entrance.
Entrance 3 (South):  Over-lapping:  Staggered entrance possibly original and cut through by footpath.
Entrance 4 (Southeast):  In-turned

Enclosing Works

Rampart follows the 94m contour. Dimensions c. 255m N-S and 145m E-W. Bank rises to c. 4.5m high on its outside with an outer ditch up to 1.5m wide and to 1.3m deep to the S, but this gives way to a berm on N half.

Enclosed Area 1:  2.53ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  2.5ha.

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

Berm on N half.

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:  ✗  

References

Anon 2000-2001. Note, Archaeology Alive: a review of work by the Cornwall Archaeological Unit, CAU, 9, 2000-2001, Cornwall County Council.

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

Page, W. ed. 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, 1, London: James Street, 469.

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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