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Kernow a'gas dynergh

The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

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Castle Dore

Age group: 8+

Location: MID Cornwall


Contact: nr Fowey, PL24

GRID REF: SX103548


Excavated in the 1930s, Castle Dore was one of the most intensively investigated Iron Age hillforts in Cornwall.


Archaeologist Ralegh Radford led excavations at Castle Dore between 1936 and 1937. Fifty years later the work still represented the most intensive investigation of a hillfort in Cornwall.


The perimeter of Castle Dore consists of two ditches (bivallate). The defences consist of a circular rampart set within an oval one; both ramparts were constructed from material excavated from external ditches. The ditch to the inner rampart survives well but that associated with the outer rampart is now infilled on the west side of the earthwork.


The inner ditch is circular, measuring 79 metres (259 ft) in diameter internally, and the outer ditch arced round it from the north to the south-east before widening in the north east to form an entrance. The ramparts (which are the earth banks just inside the ditch) were raised later in the fort's history – from a height of 1.8 to 2.5 metres (5ft 11in - 8ft 2in) – the layout remained mostly the same aside from the entrance which was made more complex.


It was probably occupied from the 5th or 4th centuries BC until the 1st century BC. The area around the site was also the scene of a civil war battle in 1644.


It is possible to park in a small lay-by to the south of the site from where the monument can be reached by a short walk back along the B3269 road to a gateway on the west side of the fort. This is a busy road, however, and great care should be taken. Access over the site is permitted by the owner, although there is no formal right of way.

Fowey 3 miles, St Austell 7 miles, Bodmin 9 miles