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Historic England Research Records

Bosigran Castle

Hob Uid: 423566
Location :
Cornwall
Cornwall
Zennor
Grid Ref : SW4160036950
Summary : Earthwork remains of a promontory fort of presumed Iron Age date; no traces of hut circles or other interior features
More information : [Centred SW 4160 3695] Bosigran Castle [ NR ] (Site of)
[Extends from SW 4167 3695 to SW 4170 3685] Wall [NR ] [SW 4167 3691]
Logan Stone [ NR ] (1)

Bosigran Castle is listed as a doubtful site in an article on
Cornish Cliff Castles. (2)

The headland concerned is ideally situated for defence and consists
of a prominent granite outcrop oriented NNW-SSE. On the north,
west and south sides there are steep rocky cliffs descending to the
sea. Only to the east is there access from the landward side and
even here there is protection given by the rocky slopes of the ridge.
There is little doubt that an attempt has been made to isolate and
fortify the promontory. The southern end of the east side of the
ridge is the only vulnerable section, and here for a distance of
100.0m, is a stone wall following the upper edge of the escarpment
and running from cliff to cliff. The northern half of this section
has the additional protection of steep natural slopes. The landward
side of the wall is of crude, dry stone, construction up to 2.0m
high and retains on the west a bank of granite rubble 4.0m. wide and
up to 1.2m. high. The southern part of the retaining wall appears to
be a modern reconstruction. The only sign of an entrance is to the
south where there is a small gap in the rubble bank, although the
retaining wall is unbroken. A scatter of loose stones on the slopes
below the wall indicates that parts of the wall have fallen and that
it may have once been considerably higher. The wall, although now
not very strong, is ideally situated for defence and commands a fine
view of the level ground on the landward side making any unobserved
approach practically impossible.
There are no traces of any internal occupation, the only features of
interest being a logan stone and several fine rock basins.
It is concluded that this is a promontory fort although the nature
of the defences may indicate a use a an occasional place of
refuge rather than a permanent habitation site.
A 25" survey has been made. (3)

A section of walling on the east side of the headland, linking the
natural outcrops, was revealed when heavy vegetation was burnt off
in 1958.

The site is no longer doubtful (as recorded by Dr Cotton (2)). (4)

As described in survey of 27 1 61. It is fairly certain that the
walling represents some form of defence and the vertical face of
drystone work which faces inland is, as suggested by Geary,
apparently much rebuilt on the original pattern. There is no
accompanying ditch. The 4.0m spread of small stones backing the
wall have evidently been collected from within the enclosed
area which is strewn with boulders and large patches of barren rock.
There may have been considerable erosion of top soil but there are
no signs of habitation and any permanent settlement must have been
on a minor scale.

The area is still known locally as 'Bosigran Castle.' (5)

Bosigran Castle is an Iron Age cliff-castle of simple type,
defended by a thick stone wall 120m long and up to 1.6m in height.
It has a central entrance, now blocked, and no external ditch.

No dwelling sites have been found within. (6)

Bosigran Castle, a refuge rather than a defended settlement, is
now in the care of the National Trust. (7-9)

SW 416 370. Bosigran Castle. Listed in gazetteer [apparently erroneously] as a doubtful multivallate hillfort covering ?0.8ha. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : O.S. 6" 1908
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Proceedings of the West Cornwall Field Club
Source details : MA Cotton: Cornish Cliff Castles
Page(s) : 113-121
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1958-9
Source Number :
Source : SW 43 NW 6 (1975)
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 EG 27-JAN-61
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Proceedings of the West Cornwall Field Club
Source details : A Guthrie: Bosigran Cliff Castle
Page(s) : 178
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1959-60
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 NVQ 02-APR-75
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : PAS Pool, C Weatherhill (31/3/1979) Report to the National Trust on Iron Age Sites at Bosigran Farm
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CBA - Archaeology in Britain 1979 29
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : C Weatherhill (1981) Belerion Ancient Sites of Land's End p36-7 plan
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : V Russell (1971) West Penwith Survey p39
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : AHA Hogg (1979) British Hill-Forts: An Index; British Archaeol Reports 62 p214
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Promontory Fort, Univallate Hillfort
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CO 713
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SW 43 NW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SW 43 NW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-01-27
End Date : 1961-01-27
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SW 43 NW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1975-04-02
End Date : 1975-04-02