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HER Number:29880
Name:PENDEEN VAU - Iron Age/Romano British fogou


A fogou in exceptionally good condition with a 7.0m long passage leading to two further passages, one of which is approx 6.0m long.

Grid Reference:SW 3835 3553
Parish:St Just, Penwith, Cornwall
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument CO765: Pendeen fogou at Pendeen House

Other References/Statuses

  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 29880
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SW33NE 7

Monument Type(s):

  • FOGOU (Early Iron Age to Romano British - 800 BC to 409 AD)

Full description

Pendeen Vau fogou was excavated by W Borlase in the 18th century, and details and drawings were published in 1769 (b2). Survey by the OS in 1961 (h1) revealed that the fogou is in exceptionally good condition. It lies partly under a large mass of stone 14m long, 4.5m wide and with a maximum height of 2.5m. The entrance is on the south side of this mass. A stone-lined passage extends northwards from the entrance for 7.0m then turns WNW for 9.5m, where it reaches ground level. These two passages have an average width of 1.3m and a height varying from 0.7m to 1.5m. They are lined with dry stone walling and roofed with granite capstones. Extending north from the junction of the above passages is an unlined passage, entered by an opening 0.7m wide and 0.4m high. The extent of the unlined passage could not be determined by the OS. Clark has drawn it as approx 20ft (6.12m) long (b9). Clark records aumbries (cupboard-like recesses) within the fogou (b8, b9). Parts of the walling around the exterior of the entrance have been rebuilt, perhaps since Borlase's time since his engraving shows the entrance with regular walling (b9). Old tyres and farmyard debris are dumped around the exterior of the fogou (h4, h5). Clark suggests that the present farmyard at Pendeen is probably built upon the site of a La Tene enclosure (b8, b9). An above-ground storage pit (29886) is probably associated with the fogou and Iron Age/Romano-British occupation of the area. The monument is included in the Schedule.

Site history:
1: 1961. QUINNELL, NV / OS
2: 1970. MERCER, RJ / DOE
3: 1975. FLETCHER, MJ / OS
4: 1980. SHEPPARD, PA / DOE
5: 1985. FLETCHER, PA / HBMC

Smart. D, 1994, Fogous and hulls in south and west Cornwall (Unpublished document). SCO27443.

<1> Norden, J, 1728, Speculi Britanniae Pars, 30 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4001.

<2> Borlase, W, 1754, Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall, 293-294 (Bibliographic reference). SCO2878.

<3> EDMONDS, R, 18--, UNKNOWN TITLE, VOL I, 310-313 (Unedited Source). SCO5679.

<4> BORLASE, W, 1868, UNKNOWN TITLE, VOL 4, 163 (Unedited Source). SCO6234.

<5> Blight, JT, 1861, A Week at the Land's End, 190-191 (Bibliographic reference). SCO2860.

<6> Page, W (Editor), 1906, Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, VOL I, 353 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4068.

<7> Hencken, HO, 1932, The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly (Bibliographic reference). SCO3489.

<8> CLARK, EV & FORD, EB, 1953, UNKNOWN TITLE, VOL 19, 121-126 (Unedited Source). SCO7528.

<9> Clark, EV, 1961, Cornish Fogous, 16, 21-27, 46, 76, 131, 136, PLS 2, 3 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3076.

<10> Crath, WA, 1963, Fogous of West Cornwall, the Lizard, (NS) VOL II, 3, 18 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3188.

<11> Ordnance Survey, 1970s, 1:10,000 OS Map (Cartographic materials). SCO4045.

<12> Russell, V, 1971, West Penwith Survey, 62 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4314.

<13> Cornwall Council, 2017, Distinctiveness Assessment and Evaluation (Report). SCO27790.

Sources / Further Reading

---SCO27443 - Unpublished document: Smart. D. 1994. Fogous and hulls in south and west Cornwall.
[1]SCO4001 - Bibliographic reference: Norden, J. 1728. Speculi Britanniae Pars. 30.
[2]SCO2878 - Bibliographic reference: Borlase, W. 1754. Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall. 293-294.
[4]SCO6234 - Unedited Source: BORLASE, W. 1868. UNKNOWN TITLE. PROC SOC ANTIQ. VOL 4, 163.
[5]SCO2860 - Bibliographic reference: Blight, JT. 1861. A Week at the Land's End. 190-191.
[6]SCO4068 - Bibliographic reference: Page, W (Editor). 1906. Victoria History of the County of Cornwall. Page, W. VOL I, 353.
[7]SCO3489 - Bibliographic reference: Hencken, HO. 1932. The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly.
[8]SCO7528 - Unedited Source: CLARK, EV & FORD, EB. 1953. UNKNOWN TITLE. PPS. VOL 19, 121-126.
[9]SCO3076 - Bibliographic reference: Clark, EV. 1961. Cornish Fogous. 16, 21-27, 46, 76, 131, 136, PLS 2, 3.
[10]SCO3188 - Bibliographic reference: Crath, WA. 1963. Fogous of West Cornwall, the Lizard. (NS) VOL II, 3, 18.
[11]SCO4045 - Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1970s. 1:10,000 OS Map.
[12]SCO4314 - Bibliographic reference: Russell, V. 1971. West Penwith Survey. 62.
[13]SCO27790 - Report: Cornwall Council. 2017. Distinctiveness Assessment and Evaluation. Devon and Cornwall.

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Related records: none recorded