An iconic piece of Cornish landscape comprising 70 acres of hilltop land with views to both coasts
Written expressions of interest to be submitted by 12 noon Thursday 24th August 2023.
An iconic piece of Cornish landscape comprising 70 acres of hilltop land with views to both coasts and for tens of miles around. A Scheduled Monument and a diverse archaeological landscape including Bronze Age burial mounds, two Iron Age Rounds, a Hill Fort and the site of a discovery of Roman coins.
- Sea view
- Full sales particulars are available upon request
- 70 acres
- Cornish landmark
- Partly Site of Special Scientific Interest
- Area of Great Landscape Value
- Partly Special Area for Conservation
- Partly Country Wildlife Site
Tregonning Hill and Godolphin Hill (in the ownership of the National Trust) are the two high points of the small granitic intrusion which meets the Cornish coast at Trewavas Head to the west of Porthleven. Whilst Godolphin Hill has a rounded profile, Tregonning Hill forms a ridge running south eastwards.
Tregonning Hill has outstanding views stretching out across the English Channel to the south and across countryside to the Atlantic Ocean to the north. Many of Cornwall’s other landmarks can be seen including St Agnes Beacon, Carn Brea and the coastline stretching around the Lizard Peninsula, past St Michael’s, Mount, to the Land’s End peninsula. Not only can much be seen from the hill but the hill can also be seen from a great distance away and is considered one of Cornwall’s main skyline landmarks.
Tregonning Hill is remarkable for its diverse archaeological landscape, which includes Bronze Age burial mounds, the Iron Age hillfort of Castle Pencaire, two Iron Age or Romano-British defended settlements or Rounds, a well preserved medieval field system and a quarry where John Wesley is alleged to have preached. In addition, this is the place where china clay was first extracted by William Cookworthy in the middle of the 18th century which went on to be Cornwall’s other great export after tin.
Castle Pencaire, on the summit of Tregonning Hill, by tradition an abode of giants, is a hillfort of Iron Age date, oval and defined by a pair of ramparts and ditches with entrances on both the east and west sides. Several hut circles have been identified in the interior. The site is bisected by a modern boundary, and a 20th Century War Memorial, constructed of stone from the ramparts, has been built atop the ramparts on the western side.
Strategically sited on lofty hilltops commanding wide views over the surrounding landscape, hillforts were not necessarily intended primarily for defence, although they may have sometimes served that purpose. More likely they were centres of trade and served as a focal point for community gatherings and ceremonies, the impressive banks and ditches being a means of displaying status and power. It is not known whether the round houses in the interior represent evidence for a permanent settlement – occupation may have been sporadic or seasonal, or associated with specific activities taking place at the site.
On the north eastern slopes of the hill are two smaller defended farmsteads or rounds; the rampart of the western one has been partially removed and the remainder survives, fossilised into the modern field pattern, whilst the better preserved eastern enclosure lies in moorland and is complete, with traces of several hut circles in the interior and a causewayed track leading to the entrance on its south eastern side. These two settlement sites may be broadly contemporary with the hillfort.
A system of strip fields and ridge and furrow extend over the northern slopes of the hill. On the ridge to the south of Castle Pencaire is a Bronze Age barrow in which was discovered a Roman coin hoard indicating activity in the area both before and after the period during which the hillfort would have been at its height.
Tregonning Hill is protected as a Scheduled Monument. Public footpaths from Balwest and Tresowes Hill give access to the hill, and much of the ground here is Access Land.
Part of the hill is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and at the date of notification (1994) was the only known site of western rustwort in Great Britain and Tregonning hill is also known to harbour rare mosses amongst many other species. The Northern side of the hill has been grazed in more recent times.
The opportunity to own such an amazing piece of Cornwall with all its history and natural beauty should not be overlooked and we welcome private, charitable and public interest.