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Veryan Ringarounds

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Gwendra, Veryan Castle

In the civil parish of Veryan.
In the historic county of Cornwall.
Modern Authority of Cornwall.
1974 county of Cornwall.
Medieval County of Cornwall.

OS Map Grid Reference: SW90893880
Latitude 50.21224° Longitude -4.93200°

Veryan Ringarounds has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Multivallate round on a projecting spur on the east side of a deep steep sided valley. Although suggested to be of medieval date, it is a classic example of the Cornish round. (PastScape)

Veryan Castle, or the Ringarounds, is an Iron Age or Romano-British defended site defined by an enclosing rampart and ditch with traces of a second and third rampart on the south-eastern side. The site stands on the slope of a steep hill; to the west the ground falls steeply, but the interior is nearly level, and the rampart is highest on the poorly defended south-eastern side; on the north-west it is hardly visible. The ditch varies between 5.0m and 6.5m wide and is visible both on the south-eastern and north-western sides, though the latter is little more than a terrace. Some 15m-20m outside the ditch is a second rampart, surviving only on the eastern and southern sides, where it has been fossilised as a modern hedge bank; it may never have completely surrounded the internal enclosure. Traces of a third rampart are visible as a slight scarp and as a cropmark on aerial photos in the south-eastern quadrant. The cropmark indicates that this outer rampart merges with the 'middle' rampart to form an annexe, rather than forming another concentric rampart. A 6.0m wide gap in the inner rampart on the south side is considered to be the original entrance. The site is defensively not very strong, being overlooked on all sides but the west, but Sheppard suggests that it still looks impressive. King and Alcock refer to the site with the implication that it was medieval in origin. The OS suggest that there is no reason not to regard the site as a classic round with additional defensive features. The site is in good order though some considerable repairs and scrub clearance were carried out in the early 1980s. The monument was included in the Schedule on 2/3/1962 and the scheduling was revised on 8/3/2001. The site is visible on aerial photographs and was plotted as part of the NMP.
Site monitoring by Cornwall Archaeological Society area representatives Sheila James and Coral Pepper in July 2011 found the site to be extremely overgrown. The following observations were made: "Site becoming overgrown, nettles and thistles on the platform area (photo), furze and bracken on the bank.. Some scrub hawthorn and brambles particularly in the ditch. Site is beside a public footpath but this is rarely used. " (Cornwall & Scilly HER)

King (and Salter) seemed to have no doubt about medieval use, but site is well outside village and not associated with roads and footpaths and seems unlikely to have any long term medieval use as a castle. Leland appears to mention this as a single ditched fort in the parish of Gerrans.
N.B. A round is an Iron Age agricultural settlement restricted to western Britain see Monument Class Description
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
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Air Photos > 
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Photos >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:04

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