Chûn Castle & 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 worked 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). You can also this fascinating site on our PLEN interactive platform.
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, which is on private land, 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. Repeat visits by our volunteers have helped keep the vegetation under control, allowing more to visit and see this site.
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. They then visited many more times to help keep the vegetation under control.
Please note there is no open public access into Bosullow Trehyllys settlement. However, visits of the site can be arranged directly with the landowner Miss Jackie Boynes. She is very happy for people to phone up for permission, and encourages those that do so to spend as long as possible on the site to make the most of their visit. You are best able to reach her around 9pm each evening, on 01736 788795.
If you're just passing by and can't pre-arrange a visit, you are still able to see a very good portion of the site from the lane.