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CHYSAUSTER SETTLEMENT

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CHYSAUSTER ANCIENT VILLAGE
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Chysauster was a settlement mainly occupied between the second and third centuries AD. However, there is evidence for Iron Age settlement and earlier exploition of the landscape since at least the middle Bronze Age. It is situated on the Lands End peninsula one mile west of the hillfort of Castle-an-Dinas and reached by way of the St Ives to Penzance road. Chyauster has been excavated several times, including a dig by W. C. Borlase in 1873, and reconstruction work has been carried out on multiple occasions. The settlement consists of the remains of at least 10 courtyard houses (each circa 30 metres in diameter), a fogou (man-made underground chamber) and a surrounding field system. Eight of the round houses form two distinct rows. The houses each have the same kind of basic layout. This consists of an entrance leading into an open courtyard (circa 8 metres in diameter) from which branched out a number of rooms, usually three. There was a round room opposite the entrance, a long narrow room to the right of the entrance and, in some houses, an additional smaller round room. The fogou was situated 91 metres to the south of the houses and was originally recorded as running well over 16 metres in length but was blocked up in the late 20th century for safety reasons. Henry Crozier recorded it in around 1847 as a 'voe or sepulchral chamber'. The field system surrounding the settlement included terraces up to a metre in height, field banks and walls and trackways. A Bronze Age burial cairn was also found incorporated into a later field wall. These remains suffered considerable agricultural damage in the late 20th century. A second 'fogou', recorded in the mid 19th century, has been identified as a sunken approach road to the settlement. Finds from the site have included pottery, fragments of slate, water-worn pebbles of cream-coloured quartz and (in 2003) a copper alloy spoon, which may have been used for eating shellfish. The site is an English Heritage property.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.