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Bartinne Castle Enclosure



Can be reached from many directions, the best of which might be from the track opposite the car park at the foot of Chapel Carn Brea then across Tredinney Common, keeping the disused china clay works on your right. Alternatively approach from Carn Euny.

This is what Craig Weatherhill says in his book ‘Belerion: Ancient Sites of Land’s End’ (Cornwall Books, 1981)...“On the summit of the hill is a circular area 75m across, marked out by a low bank of earth and scattered stones, which is nowhere more than 0.9m high. A shallow encircling ditch has virtually disapppeared. In the centre of the enclosure are three small circular banks of earth and gravel arranged in a tight triangular plan; the edges of two actually join. There is no sign of the ‘continuous stones pitched on end’ mentioned by Dr Borlase. The largest and best preserved of these circles, now containing the OS triangulation pillar, is 11.8m in diameter; the others are 7.9m and 9.1m across. Whether they are the remains of hut circles or ring barrows is not yet known.

What Bartinne Castle actually was is also a mystery. Even though the enclosing bank has been extensively robbed, it seems that it was never strong enough to have been of any defensive value. Perhaps, as Dr Borlase suggested, it was a hill fort, traced out, begun, but never finished. It could be that an alternative site was found at Caer Bran on the next hill. Another suggestion is that Bartinne may have been a huge disc barrow.
pure joy Posted by pure joy
19th February 2003ce

Comments (1)

It now seems that Bartinney Castle was a ritual site - a ring-cairn enclosure surrounding the three central ring cairns and several other small cairns. The 'well' in its north-western quadrant is, in fact, a post-medieval mining prospectors pit, one of several. The ritual site identification supports the legend that no evil spirits can walk within it. The same legend also applies to Caer Bran hill fort on the ext hill to the east - the inner enclosure of this has now been found to be exactly the same thing, with a later (iron Age) unfinished hill fort built around it. Both Chun Castle and Castle-an-Dinas (Ludgvan) also seem to incorporate an earlier enclosure. Posted by craig weatherhill
5th May 2011ce
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