Chun Castle, Cornwall

Chun Castle, Cornwall

Chun Castle, Cornwall is an Iron Age Hill Fort (2nd or 3rd centuries BC). It is made up of two concentric rings of granite, with traces hut foundations inside. It was probably occupied both before and after the Roman occupation of Britain. The Castle stands on vantage point, with views of the northern coast of Penwith.

Chun Castle at 280 feet (85m) in diameter, is still impressive despite the removal of much of its stone. The rampart survive in places up to 9 feet (2.7m) high. The fort is encircled by a double drystone rampart of granite with external ditches. There is an entrance on the south-west flanked by huge stone gate-posts. The entrances are staggered to make it harder for an enemy to enter. Inside are the remains of huts built when the fort was reused in the Dark Ages. Several Iron-Age round-houses discovered in the interior, were overlain by later, sixth-century rectangular dwellings.

Inside the defences was a blocked-up well near the north-west rampart, which was originally walled around, having steps descending to the water. And several smelting-pits were found here in 1925 have been found on the site, one yielding a 12lb (5.4kg) lump of tin. This suggests that the Cornish tin industry is at least 2000 years old.

Nearby stands Chun Quoit, the entrance to a bronze age burial mound. And on the sides of the hill and the surrounding common are great numbers of small barrows and small heaps of stones about 1m (3ft) in height.

In 1754 Dr Borlase wrote "On a commanding hill... stand the remains of one of the most perfect hill castles of Cornwall, Chun Castle." However soon after this large quantities of the stone were carted away for building, and the fort was virtually flattened.

In the 19th century Methodist preachers would set up pulpits on the walls to preach their gospel.

Chun Castle has further background.


Cornwall Castles Map