Cornwall

Ancient Britons: Iron Age riches in Cornwall

The South West has more ancient monuments than anywhere else in the country providing a rich history of how people used to live.

As part of our continuing series on Ancient Britons, BBC Spotlight's David George, helped by archaeologists, and enthusiasts, has been looking at bronze age sites in Cornwall.

Many of these ancient monuments have survived because the high places have not been developed.

Lower down farmers ploughs have removed much of the evidence.

The film above covers The Hurlers on Bodmin Moor the highest part of Cornwall, Traboe Barrow - a bronze age burial site on Goonhilly downs, and Rough Tor aerial photographs which clearly show a village of bronze age roundhouses.

As part of our Ancient Britons season, David George has also been looking for the remains of iron age settlements along the narrow and windy coast road between Lands End and St Ives - near Zennor. Watch David's film above.

One of the most visible parts of Iron Age Britain can be seen at Castle-an-Dinas near the new A30 road in mid Cornwall.

The earthy embellishment, sat atop the gently rising hill, points to a style of hill fort commonly seen in the 4th century.

The site is likely to have played a part in the life of the Dumnonii tribe, which held the balance of power in Iron Age Cornwall.

There is also evidence of two Bronze Age barrows upon which later structures and development may well have been placed.

Today it is managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust but as to what its role was back then, no-one is quite sure.

Cornwall's Iron Age

Carn Euny ancient village can be found at Sancreed, near Land's End. It has a fine preservation of stone house foundations, and an underground passage, or fogou.

Chysauster ancient village at Madron is also near Land's End. It is similiar to Carn Euny, but it has an even better preservation of houses.

If you're an Iron Age enthusiast, the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro has several Iron Age exhibits, including references to the tin industry that flourished in Cornwall.

History of Ancient Briton can be seen on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC 2.

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