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HER Number:24541
Name:MERTHER UNY - Iron Age round, Early Medieval Lann


An ovoid enclosure at Merther-Uny was excavated by Charles Thomas in 1968, revealed to have originally been constructed as a round and later used as a lann.

Grid Reference:SW 7035 2931
Parish:Gweek, Kerrier, Cornwall
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument CO162B-C: Round, medieval chapel, burial ground and standing cross 60m south east of Merthyr Uny House

Other References/Statuses

  • Cornwall PROJECT ID: JG
  • National Monuments Record: SW 72 NW 22
  • National Record of the Historic Environment to Historic Environment Records data transfer
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 427115
  • OS No. (OS Quarter-sheet and OS No.): SW72NW 22
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 24541
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 24541.10
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 24541.11
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 24541.20
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 24541.21
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 24541.31
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SW72NW 3
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SW72NW 4
  • Unified Designation System UID: 1004645
  • Unified Designation System UID: 1162555

Monument Type(s):

  • ROUND (Late Iron Age to Romano British - 100 BC to 200 AD)
  • Lann (Early Medieval to Medieval - 900 AD to 1100 AD)
  • OVAL ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1100 AD to 1500 AD)

Full description

The remains of a Medieval chapel at Merther Euny (or Mether-Uny), Gweek, are contained within an oval enclosure (1).

This enclosure was excavated in 1968 by Charles Thomas (2, 3, 4). The site appears to have originally been constructed in the first century BC as a small Round, or other domestic enclosure, occupied up until around the second century AD. Ceramics from this period include amphorae sherds, Samian and sherds of Castle Dore/Glastobury Ware. The initial enclosure appears to have been slightly smaller than the extant earthwork, and lacked any outer ditch. The enclosure bank probably bore a palisade for at least a time, and was cut in four places.

By around AD 1000 the enclosure was reoccupied and used a lan, an enclosed ecclesiastical establishment. No chapel was identified for this initial phase of ecclesiatical occupation; the main features associated with this period are a cemetery, and probably also a blocked entrance flanked by granite slabs on the west side. The presence of bar-lug pottery suggests occupation extended back into the early medieval period (6). Sandy Lane pottery indicates occupation continued into the twelfth century.

Discussing the Round, Wells (5) notes the strong position of the site, on the edge of a stream valley, with open views to the south-east and sheltered to the west by rising land. It has water close by and nearby level land.

The granite cross, previously thought to date to c. AD 1000, has been redated to the twelfth century (see related records).

Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 198-, Drawing Archive, Hanging (GRH), GRH 19 (Cartographic materials). SCO5088.

<1> Thomas, AC, 1967, Christian Antiquities of Camborne, 46, fig. 9 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4601.

<2> Thomas, AC, 1968, Excavation News 1967-1968: Merther Uny, Wendron (Article in Journal). SCO4626.

<3> Wilson, DM & Hurst, JG, 1969, Medieval Britain in 1968, 230-231 (Article in Journal). SCO30407.

<4> Preston-Jones, A & Rose, PG, 1986, Medieval Cornwall, 153ff (Article in Journal). SCO4188.

<5> Wells, A, 1978, Title Unknown, no. 228 (Academic Thesis). SCO8469.

<6> Hutchinson, G, 1979, Bar-Lug Pottery of Cornwall, 99 (Article in Journal). SCO3617.

Sources / Further Reading

---SCO5088 - Cartographic materials: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 198-. Drawing Archive, Hanging (GRH). GRH 19.
[1]SCO4601 - Bibliographic reference: Thomas, AC. 1967. Christian Antiquities of Camborne. 46, fig. 9.
[2]SCO4626 - Article in Journal: Thomas, AC. 1968. Excavation News 1967-1968: Merther Uny, Wendron. Cornish Archaeology. 7. 81-82.
[3]SCO30407 - Article in Journal: Wilson, DM & Hurst, JG. 1969. Medieval Britain in 1968. Medieval Archaeology. 13. 230-287. 230-231.
[4]SCO4188 - Article in Journal: Preston-Jones, A & Rose, PG. 1986. Medieval Cornwall. Cornish Archaeology. 25. 135-185. 153ff.
[5]SCO8469 - Academic Thesis: Wells, A. 1978. Title Unknown. no. 228.
[6]SCO3617 - Article in Journal: Hutchinson, G. 1979. Bar-Lug Pottery of Cornwall. Cornish Archaeology. 18. 99.

Associated Finds

  • FCO734 - SHERD (Romano British - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FCO735 - SHERD (Early Medieval - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FCO736 - SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events

  • ECO1241 - Merther Uny, Wendron: Excavation, 1968

Related records

24541.22Parent of: MERTHER UNY - Early Medieval cemetery, Medieval Cemetery (Monument)
24541.40Parent of: MERTHER UNY - Medieval chapel (Monument)
24541.23Parent of: MERTHER UNY - Medieval cross (Monument)
24541.24Parent of: MERTHER UNY - Medieval holy well (Monument)
24541.50Parent of: MERTHER UNY - Modern nonconformist chapel (Monument)