Chûn Castle and Bosullow Trehyllys
These ancient sites sit on the border between Morvah and Madron parishes. Chûn Castle is an impressive Iron-Age hillfort with extensive landscape and coastal views. Surrounded by two extensive stone walls, the interior of the site contains the remains of several roundhouses. The hillfort has previously been excavated, showing a period of occupation from approximately the 3rd Century BCE to the 1st Century CE.
The Penwith Landscape Partnership has been working with volunteers to clear vegetation from this amazing site, prior to an extensive drone survey. As a result you can now explore our interactive portal of the site, allowing you to see drone images of the hillfort in its current form, as well as a historical recreation, 3D images, maps and a video. To access this portal click the button below. (Image right courtesy of Carolyn Kennett)
Bosullow Trehyllys is just to the North East of Chûn Castle. This is a settlement of courtyard houses, a type of building only seen in south west England. The settlement at Bosullow Trehyllys consists of at least four courtyard houses as well as associated walls, paddocks, gardens and enclosures. This site has also been the subject of vegetation clearance and surveying by our volunteers.
You can find out more below about these fascinating structures.
Chûn Castle has long been a significant landmark in the Penwith landscape, sitting as it does on top of a hill with views of the coast in two different directions. The site also sits directly on the parish boundary between Morvah and Madron- so much so that the parish boundary runs right through the middle! The two stone walls surrounding the hillfort both have extensive ditches attached to them, providing an impressive defensive structure. As well as the remains of the roundhouses, the interior of the site also contains a well. Down the hill from the site is Chûn Quoit, one of the best surviving examples of these Neolithic structures in Penwith.
Our volunteers started working on the site in October 2018, clearing overgrown vegetation from the interior and the ramparts after initial clearance work from contractors. This has allowed this site to be seen in all its glory, and prepared the way for our drone survey.
Near Chûn Castle, Bosullow Trehyllys is a slightly later settlement, dating from the Romano-British period, as courtyard houses typically came into use from the 2nd-4th centuries CE. The courtyard houses it contains are found only in the south west, and the vast majority of those are in Penwith. In courtyard houses an outer wall surrounded a series of small rooms, all of which led into a central courtyard of the house (from which the houses get their name). At Bosullow Trehyllys not only do the remains of some of these houses survive, but also other associated structures such as paddocks and gardens. It is not known for certain whether Bosullow Trehyllys' use as a settlement overlapped with the usage of Chûn Castle, although some historians have speculated that the settlement was a replacement for the houses within its ramparts, after the use of such hillforts declined.
In early 2019 our volunteers spent several weeks clearing overgrown vegetation from this unique site, allowing a drone survey to take place.