About Chysauster Ancient Village
Chysauster Ancient Village in Cornwall contains the ruins of a late Iron Age and Romano-British settlement, now operated by English Heritage. Today it provides a fascinating look into ancient Britain, with fantastic views of the surrounding area.
Chysauster Ancient Village history
Chysauster Ancient Village is thought to have been inhabited from about 100 BC to the 3rd century by the native Dumnonii tribe. Beginning as a late Iron Age village, it was likely used up to and during the Roman occupation, before eventually – and for unknown reasons – being abandoned.
The settlers at Chysauster were an agricultural community, growing cereal crops and likely also keeping pigs and goats. The village was comprised of stone-walled ‘courtyard houses’, a type of homestead only found on the Land’s End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly, that each featured a number of thatched rooms around a central courtyard. These in turn lined a ‘village street’.
An intriguing ‘fogou’, or underground passage, was also featured at the site, whose purpose remains unknown to this day. Suggested uses include a cold store, ritual building, or hiding place however.
Chysauster Ancient Village today
Today the site consists of the remains of around ten ancient houses, each around 30m in diameter. Visitors can trace the houses’ minute details, such as water channels and stone hollows once used to support timber uprights, while considering who might have lived there those 2,000 years ago.
The ‘village street’ may still be made out, while to the south of Chysauster Village the atmospheric remains of the ‘fogou’ may also be viewed. Set on a tall hillside, Chysauster boasts stunning views across the countryside and out to the sea, while in the spring a carpet of bluebells adorns the atmospheric site.
Getting to Chysauster Ancient Village
Chysauster Ancient Village is located in Cornwall, 2.5 miles northwest of Gulval off the B3311 road. A small carpark is available roughly half a mile from the main site. The 16 bus service alights at New Mill, 1.5 miles from the site, while the nearest train station is Penzance, 3.5 miles away.
The ultimate guide to Roman sites in Britain, from Vindolanda to Segedunum, Durnovaria and more, includes an interactive map of Roman ruins in the UK.