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HER Number:16090
Name:BARTINE CASTLE - Bronze Age enclosure, Iron Age hillfort, Iron Age enclosure


Bartine (or Bartinney) Castle consists of a single circular earth rampart with no associated ditch on the summit of a prominent hill commanding a good panoramic view.

Grid Reference:SW 3941 2930
Parish:St Just, Penwith, Cornwall
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument CO96: Bartine Castle

Other References/Statuses

  • Heritage at Risk (National)
  • National Mapping Programme (Morph No.): 329.31.1
  • OS No. (OS Quarter-sheet and OS No.): SW32NE 15
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 16090
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SW32NE 25

Monument Type(s):

Full description

Bartine (or Bartinney) Castle occupies the summit of a prominent hill commanding a good panoramic view. Recorded and sketched by Borlase in 1769 (h1, b1), sketched for the VCH in 1906 (h2, b4), and by Henderson (h3, b7) and surveyed by the OS in 1960 (h4). Resurveyed by the OS (h7), surveyed by Weatherhill in 1976 (h5, b10) and sketch surveyed by Gerrard for CAU in 1985 (h6, b11, b12). The site is rather enigmatic. Borlase describes it as a circular mound of earth with no ditch and therefore of little defensive stature but suggests that it may have been an unfinished hillfort (b1). He noted the internal features of a well and three small circles edged with stones (b1). Henderson interpreted the internal features as probably being three barrows, since he recorded at least two cists within the features, and one capstone (b7). None of the detail recorded by Borlase and Henderson is extant today. The only extant remains are a single circular overgrown earth rampart of some 75m in diameter which is more than 1.0m high. There are no extant remains of an encircling ditch which detracts from the site being classified as a classic hillfort (h4, b10). There are four gaps in the circuit but the original entrance was probably in the south-west where there is a well defined gap of some 3.0m in width and where the terminals of the ramparts are inturned. The three circular features within the interior may well be hut circles or barrows; there is no evidence for their contemporaniety with the enclosure in which they sit and hence have been treated as a separate site (16091). The OS are of the opinion that these features are hut circles but there is a clear case to argue that they may be barrows and as such can be seen to be part of barrow group (h4). The hillfort or round is in a fairly mutilated condition and the conflicting identification of the internal features makes clear assessment of the site difficult. Henderson proposed that it may have been a form of sacred area or necropolis, a view which is upheld by Weatherhill (b10) and must not be discounted. Mining activities (16089.03) cut into the heart of the site. The site is visible on aerial photographs as a low, circular stone bank (p1-2) and was plotted as part of the NMP.

Site history:
1: 1769. BORLASE, W
3: 1914. HENDERSON, C
4: 1960. GEARY, E / OS
6: 1985. GERRARD, S / CAU
7: 1986. QUINNELL, N / OS

<1> Borlase, W, 1754, Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall, 210, 346 FIG 1 (Bibliographic reference). SCO2878.

JIP, 197, 258 (Photographic Record). SCO15116.

<2> Edmonds, R, 1848, On the Hill-Castles and Cliff-Castles of Penzance, VOL I, 343 (Bibliographic reference). SCO5202.

NMR, 1977, APR3929,1,140,145 (Photographic Record). SCO16037.

<3> Halliwell, JO, 1847, Rambles in Western Cornwall, 190 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3428.

<4> Page, W (Editor), 1906, Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, VOL I, 462, 463 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4068.

<5> Ordnance Survey, 1900s, 2nd Edition 6 Inch Map (Cartographic materials). SCO4051.


<7> Henderson, C, 19--, (Manuscripts, various), VOL 2, 95, PLAN 96 (Unpublished document). SCO5119.

<8> RUSSELL, V, 1958, UNKNOWN TITLE, VOL 2, NO 3, 98 (Unedited Source). SCO7694.

<9> Russell, V, 1971, West Penwith Survey, 42 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4314.

<10> Weatherhill, C, 1981, Belerion: Ancient Sites of Land's End, 34 (Bibliographic reference). SCO5027.

<11> Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 198-, Field Drawing (GRE), GRE 2/34 (Cartographic materials). SCO5089.

<12> Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 198-, Drawing Archive, Hanging (GRH), GRH 68/4/SW3929 (Cartographic materials). SCO5088.

Sources / Further Reading

[p1]SCO15116 - Photographic Record: JIP. 197. 258.
[1]SCO2878 - Bibliographic reference: Borlase, W. 1754. Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall. 210, 346 FIG 1.
[p2]SCO16037 - Photographic Record: NMR. 1977. APR3929,1,140,145.
[2]SCO5202 - Bibliographic reference: Edmonds, R. 1848. On the Hill-Castles and Cliff-Castles of Penzance. Trans Penzance Natural History and Antiquarians Society, Vol 1. VOL I, 343.
[3]SCO3428 - Bibliographic reference: Halliwell, JO. 1847. Rambles in Western Cornwall. 190.
[4]SCO4068 - Bibliographic reference: Page, W (Editor). 1906. Victoria History of the County of Cornwall. Page, W. VOL I, 462, 463.
[5]SCO4051 - Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1900s. 2nd Edition 6 Inch Map.
[7]SCO5119 - Unpublished document: Henderson, C. 19--. (Manuscripts, various). MS at RIC. VOL 2, 95, PLAN 96.
[8]SCO7694 - Unedited Source: RUSSELL, V. 1958. UNKNOWN TITLE. PWCFC. VOL 2, NO 3, 98.
[9]SCO4314 - Bibliographic reference: Russell, V. 1971. West Penwith Survey. 42.
[10]SCO5027 - Bibliographic reference: Weatherhill, C. 1981. Belerion: Ancient Sites of Land's End. 34.
[11]SCO5089 - Cartographic materials: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 198-. Field Drawing (GRE). GRE 2/34.
[12]SCO5088 - Cartographic materials: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 198-. Drawing Archive, Hanging (GRH). GRH 68/4/SW3929.

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Related records: none recorded