Archaeological Sites in Cornwall

Cornwall has a rich archaeological heritage with sites identified from as distant as the Paleolithic Era (Old Stone Age) of pre 8000BC. Axeheads from this period have been found in Cornwall evidencing the presence here of the earliest hunter-gatherers.

Mesolithic sites (Middle Stone Age) have been identified in Cornwall at Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor. Along many parts of the North Cornish Coast, flint working was prolific, notably at Trevose Head and at Land's End.

Around 4500BC the Neolithic period (New Stone Age) began and it is from this period that the earliest monuments survive. The people of the Neolithic period had a knowledge of agriculture and constructed permanent settlements. Carn Brea is believed to date from this period. This settlement within a tor enclosure is sited on the summit of a very prominent rock strewn hill which commands excellent views over the surrounding countryside.

Chamber Tombs such as Lanyon Quoit on the Land's End peninsula and Trethevy Quoit at St Cleer in East Cornwall are just two of the numerous huge stone burial chambers characteristic of the Neolithic period which can be seen in Cornwall.

Neolithic pottery, polished axeheads and leaf shaped arrowheads have been found dating from around 3900BC.

The late Neolithic and Bronze Age saw the introduction of the constructing of stone circles, standing stones (menhirs) and stone alignments. Monuments such as the Merry Maidens stone circle near Penzance, the Dry tree menhir on Goonhilly Downs and the Men an Tol (Cornish for holed stone) on the Land's End peninsula are examples of the many monuments which can be found right across Cornwall.


Lanyon Quoit

The Iron Age is also well represented in Cornwall with courtyard house settlements at Chysauster and Carn Euny, both near Penzance.

Hill forts, cliff castles, fogous, enclosed settlements, all characteristic of this period, are numerous throughout Cornwall.

For a more complete picture of Cornwall's archaeology please see the list of archaeological sites below and any of the numerous publications on the archaeology of Cornwall.

Why not visit Cornwall to experience the sites for yourself.


Books can be purchased online by clicking on the links below:

The Old Stones
The Megalithic Portal

Archaeology of Cornwall
Caradoc Peters

Belerion Ancient Sites of Land's End
C Weatherhill ISBN 090672001X

Journey to the Stones Mermaid to Merrymaid
I Cooke ISBN 0951237101

The Old Stones of Land's End
J Michell ISBN 0855113707

Cornwall's Archaeological Heritage
Cornwall Archaeological Unit. ISBN 0906294215

Prehistoric Cornwall The Ceremonial Monuments
J Barnatt ISBN 0855001291

Cornwall's Archaeological Heritage
ISBN 0906294525; 32 pages

Cornovia - Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly
ISBN 1871060311; 136 pages

Carew's Survey of Cornwall 1602
ISBN0850253896; 200 pages

Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall
1769 W Borlase Reprinted 1973 ISBN 0854098526

Industrial Archaeology of Cornwall
AC Todd P Laws 1972 ISBN 0715355902

An Introduction to the Archaeology of Cornwall
C Woolf 1970 Bradford Barton

The Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly
H Hencken 1932 Methuen and Co Ltd


For other books of archaeological interest please click on the following link
Archaeology of Cornwall

Some books may only be available for reference at the Cornwall Centre at Redruth.

Available for everyone, funded by people who are Into Cornwall.

If the information on this website has been useful to you please consider a donation.

Archaeological Sites events


January Events:

Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network Clear Up Day

Date: 19 Jan / Time: 2pm

SANCREED WELL o/s 4180 2935. Meet at the well.

Park in layby at 417 2941 on Sancreed to St Just road opposite Newham Farm 2pm.

more info...




Map of Archaeological Sites locations in Cornwall

Use the + scale on the left of the map to zoom in on an area. Click on a marker to see the name of the location and click the box to go to the information about that place. To zoom out click - on the scale.

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Archaeological Sites locations in Cornwall



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Maps of Cornwall :

The Ordnance Survey publishes the Explorer series of maps which are ideal for walkers.

Scale 1 : 25 000
2.5 inches to 1 mile /
4cm to 1km.

Available in local bookshops or click on the links below to order online.

Those covering Cornwall:

Map of Isles of Scilly:

101 Isles of Scilly


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