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

The Rumps

Cliff Fort


Nicholas Johnson and Peter Rose in ‘Cornwall’s Archaeological Heritage’ (Twelveheads Press, 1990) consider it “One of the most spectacular sites in the county” and give the following info. “Excavated in 1963-67, the site was occupied between 4th Century BC and 1st Cent AD. Round houses were found with pottery, bones and other artifacts suggesting a settled occupation much the same as in inland hillforts (e.g. Warbstow). Traces of hut platforms can be seen behind the inner rampart and on the slopes of the E knoll, along with the lines of at least two fields. The ramparts (numbered 1-4 onwards) are part of two phases. In Phase 1, ramparts 1 (inner) and 3 were built with a large area, perhaps of defended grazing, between them. Phase 2 – ramparts 2 and 4 (outer) built, rampart 1 still in use, rampart 3 abandoned. A modern wall has been built into the outer rampart. The defences were at their most complex, with massive wooden gateways and walkways over the top, just before abandonment.”

Antiquities of the Cornish Countryside (Tor Mark Press – no date, seems to be early 1970’s) gives the following info. “Lies at the entrance to the River camel, north side. Reached by B3314 from Wadebridge to St.Minver and then by C roads to Pentire Farm, on Pentire headland. Take the coastal footpath (signposted). The large and well defended fort was recently excavated and has three great banks and ditches thrown across the approaches to Rumps Point; behind them lie the remains of Iron Age dwellings”

Craig Weatherhill, in “Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly” (Cornwall Books - 1985, revised 1997 & 2000) adds “The magnificent cliff castle at the Rumps, near Polzeath, was found to have housed a thriving community which perhaps had trading links with the Mediterranean through the Breton tribe, the Veneti. It may be that the Veneti themselves built the Rumps and other cliff castles, notable Gurnard’s Head which bears similarities to Breton cliff castles on the coast formerly inhabited by the Veneti”
pure joy Posted by pure joy
12th September 2003ce

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