Near Sancreed, Penzance, TR20 8RB
Tel: (0117) 9750700
Village life in Celtic Cornwall
Among the best preserved ancient villages in the south-west, occupied from the Iron Age until late Roman times. It includes the foundations of stone houses, and an intriguing 'fogou' underground passage.
The first traces of settlement on the site date from 500 BC. For some 500 years, the village was formed of relatively simple Iron Age 'round houses'. These have now completely disappeared - with only the circular drainage gullies and post-holes surviving, to be excavated by archaeologists in the 1960's. As part of this early settlement, a remarkable underground stone chamber with an entrance passage was built. This distinct type of monument, found only in the far west of Cornwall, is known as a 'fogou', deriving from the Cornish word 'ogo' meaning cave.
The site was discovered in the early 19th century by prospectors searching for tin deposits. Between 1863 and 1868, the antiquarian William Copeland Borlase examined the archaeological site and exposed the fogou. During the 1920's, Dr. Favell and Canon Taylor discovered the foundation walls of the houses with courtyards. Between 1964 and 1972, extensive excavations were carried out, in which nine hut foundations were discovered. The fogou and the circular chamber were investigated and restored.
Managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust.
Three miles west of Penzance.
Daily all year
Penzance Land's End Newlyn St. Buryan Chysauster Ancient Village English Heritage in Cornwall