Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

EN4270: Prideaux Castle  

(The Warren; Prideaux Warren)

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HER:  Cornwall and Scilly 5001

NMR:  SX 05 NE 3 (431133)

SM:  1006663

NGR:  SX 0590 5567

X:  205905  Y:  55681  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Possible small contour hillfort or round located at end of prominent SE-facing spur above streams on E flowing into St Austell Bay on S. Steep slopes, moderate along ridge on NW. Roughly circular enclosing c. 0.81ha. Defined by three closely-spaced concentric ramparts and ditches, with incomplete fourth or more likely counterscarp on W. Ramparts range 1.3m to 2.7m, high inner best, outermost as partial scarp to 1.3m high. Possible staggered entrance on W, but no obvious break in third rampart, that on E possibly later. On N and E circuit overlain by field boundaries. Circular depression, 0.5m deep, outside fourth rampart on E side possible round house or small quarry. Chance finds of numerous flints, slingstones, stone axe and sherd of South-West Decorated pottery from interior. Pasture interior, wooded banks and Warren Wood to E and S. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882).

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Unconfirmed:  May be a round.

Location

X:  -526627  Y:  6510404  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.73077  Latitude:  50.36887  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  England

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Cornwall

Historic County:   Cornwall

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Luxulyan

Condition

Fair condition.

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Pasture interior, wooded banks and Warren Wood to E and S.

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

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Possible small contour hillfort or round located at end of prominent SE-facing spur above streams on E flowing into St Austell Bay on S. Steep slopes, moderate along ridge on NW.

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

Topographic Position

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

Dominant Topographic Feature:  Spur

Aspect

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

Elevation

Altitude:  125.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

Numerous chance finds of slingstones, stone axe and sherd of South-West Decorated pottery suggest Iron Age date.

Reliability:  C - Low

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

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Prehistoric cup marked stone.

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Possible medieval rabbit warren.

Artefactual:  Chance finds.

Investigations

Investigations Ordnance Survey 1813, 1969. Mention Lysons, D. and Lysons, S. Magna Britannia 1814. On 1st Ed. OS map (1882). Field investigation Ordnance Survey 1969. Aerial photograph interpretation Cornwall NMP. Survey Cornwall Archaeological Unit as part of the Luxulyan Valley Project 1988. Assessment Cornwall Archaeological Unit 1998.

Other (Uncertain):  Aerial photograph interpretation Cornwall NMP.
1st Identified Map Depiction (1813):  Investigations OS.
1st Identified Written Reference (1814):  Mention Lysons, D. and Lysons, S. Magna Britannia.
Other (1882):  OS map.
Other (1969):  Field investigation OS.
Other (1988):  Survey Cornwall Archaeological Unit as part of the Luxulyan Valley Project.
Other (1998):  Assessment Cornwall Archaeological Unit.

Interior Features

Hut circle. Chance finds of numerous flints, slingstones, stone axe and sherd of South-West Decorated pottery.

Water Source

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

Surface

Possible hut circle (or quarry depression).

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 finds of numerous flints, slingstones, stone axe and sherd of South-West Decorated pottery.

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

Possible staggered entrance on W, but no obvious break in third rampart, that on E possibly later.

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  2:  E possibly modern.

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (West):  Over-lapping

Enclosing Works

Defined by three closely-spaced concentric ramparts and ditches, with incomplete fourth or more likely counterscarp on W. Ramparts range 1.3m to 2.7m, high inner best, outermost as partial scarp to 1.3m high.

Enclosed Area 1:  0.81ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.8ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  Fourth bank on W may be countercarp, but uncertain.

Number of Ramparts:  3

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

Fourth bank more likely counterscarp, but uncertain.

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:  Total number of ditches estimated depending on whether fourth bank is counterscarp or not.

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Henderson, C. 1914. Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, MS At RIC. Vol 3, 320.

Lysons, D. and Lysons, S. 1814. Magna Britannia, Vol III, Cornwall, 247.

Page, W. ed. 1906. The Victoria history of the County of Cornwall, Vol I, 462, The Victoria History of the Counties of England.

Smith, J.R. 1998. Prideaux Wood, Luxulyan: an archaeological assessment, Unpublished monograph Cornwall County Council, Cornwall Archaeological Unit.

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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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