Treryn Dinas Cliff Castle, Treen and Rospletha Cliffs Penberth Valley and Cove, St Levan

Record ID:  93508 / MNA107333
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: Scheduled Monument
NT Property:  St Levan Sites; South West
Civil Parish:  St. Levan; Cornwall
Grid Reference:  SW 3976 2215
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Summary

The largest and most complex Iron Age cliff castle in West Penwith.

Identification Images (0)

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)

Description

The largest and most complex Iron Age cliff castle in West Penwith, Treryn Dinas consists of three main lines of fortification: the outer is formed by a high rampart with a ditch on its northern side; the middle consists of two ramparts (the northern one ditched on both sides and forming a crescent shape, the soutern one extensively robbed and supplemented by a stone wall); the inner line of defence consists of a bank with a retaining wall and a ditch on its north side (just to the south east - 93508A - an additional rampart and ditch were recently discovered by CAU, Herring 1994a). The entrances through the outer and inner defences are central and well defined, but those through the middle ones are not now clear (but were probably just west of centre where the ramparts are lower).
Two sub-rectangular features located just inside the main line of the inner defences (93508B & C) are named as 'watch houses' on 1876 and 1908 OS maps and are probably the remains of buildings which post-date the cliff castle. In contrast, on the south-western edge of the cliff castle are the remains of two very small round houses (93508D & E - discovered by Adam Sharpe of CAU in 1992), which are likely to be contemporary with its use. A 20th century coastguard lookout previously stood between the middle and inner defences, at the site where there is now an emergency telephone (93508F).
A later Iron Age date has been suggested for Treryn Dinas in a recent review of West Penwiths cliff castles (Herring 1994b). Artefactual evidence indicates that there was human activity on the promontory both before and after this. In 1992 Adam Sharpe (of CAU), discovered the remains of a Bronze Age burial- large sherds from a cremation urn, together with pieces of charcoal and bone, were eroding out of a rock crevice near the Logan Rock. Surface finds from within Cliff Castle have included flints and a fine rubbing stone, and recently a Roman coin and some possible Roman galss (collected by Jacky Nowakowski of CAU and members of the Young Archaeologists Club). Inaddition to these early finds, evidence also survives of a much more recent event in the history of the headland - the dislodging and subsequent replacement of the Logan rock. Holes in the rocks that surround this famous stone indicate where Lieutenant Goldsmith erected the scaffolding used to replace it (an illustration showing the scaffolding is housed in Morrab Library and reproduced in National trust 19991, 9).

References

  • SZC48367 - National Trust Report: Jeanette Ratcliffe. 1998. An Archaeological Assessment of Treen & Rospletha Cliffs, Penberth Valley & Cove.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

None Recorded

Associated Events

  • ENA300 - Field Survey, National Trust Survey, Treen and Rospletha Cliffs, Penberth Valley & Cove, 1997

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

  • Parent of: Roman Brooch, Treryn Dinas, Penberth Cove and Treen Cliff, St Levan (Find Spot) - 93610 / MNA148218