The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Trevisker Round



The following notes written some years ago come from pamphlet on the history of St. Eval Airfield by Mr Alan Bell.

"In 1955 and 1956 a Mr E. Greenfield carried out excavations on behalf of the Ministry of Works on the site currently occupied by Trevisker School and playground.

An excellent report headed "The Excavation of Bronze Age and Iron Age Settlements at Trevisker, St. Eval, Cornwall" was published by the Prehistoric Society in 1971.

This summary indicated that the site was first occupied in the Bronze Age by a small agricultural settlement, consisting of two circular timber houses; one house was eventually replaced by a stone structure. A single radio carbon determination suggests that the settlement was dated within the period 1700-1300 BC.

With the number of scattered barrows in the district it has been postulated that in the Bronze Age there would have been a population of 200-250 in 30 to 50 scattered homesteads, like Trevisker, on some 2,500 to 3,200 acres of cultivable land.

The Iron Age settlement was established on the Trevisker site probably in the second century BC or earlier. An original inner enclosure, half an acre in area, housing a single defended farmstead, was later super-seded by a larger defended enclosure. This covered three acres and contained circular timber houses and occupation areas. This phase was followed at the end of the first century AD by a Romano-British period of occupation, which lasted until the middle of the second century.

Trevisker bound lay in an area densely occupied in the Iron Age - there were at least 16 known or presumed Iron Age sites within a seven miles radius. These included the cliff castles of Redcliff Castle and Park Head in the St Eval parish and the great contour hill fort of Castle-an-Dinas. Seventeen iron specimens excavated from Trevisker were analysed and these varied widely from high silica slags to samples with 50% to 60% iron. This provides proof that iron, albeit impure but typical of the period, was smelted nearby even though a furnace has not been discovered. However, it is likely that the iron ore was of local origin as Carnewas Point mine was worked in the late 19th century.

By this period the settlers were living in stone huts with slab lined drains, and it is likely that the cattle were enclosed at night or in inclement weather. Spindle whorls were found indicating that sheep were kept and their wool used for clothing. The existence of rotary grinding wheels and clay ovens suggest that cereals were cultivated."
Posted by phil
20th November 2003ce
Edited 20th November 2003ce

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