Chysauster - Ancient Village
By The Cornwall Guide. Last updated
- Some say that Chysauster's eight stone dwellings represent the earliest identifiable village street in England. The dwellings, which have been called 'courtyard houses', were probably built and occupied between 100BC and 400AD by members of the Dumonii tribe. Courtyard houses consist of a circular walled enclosure with small chambers leading off from it, attached to and embedded in the inner face of the wall. Ruins such as these are found only on the Land's End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly.
- The oval-shaped houses were around twenty eight meters long, with three meter-high walls. The chambers would have had thatched roofs, while the central courtyard would have been open to the sky. Chysauster is located on the south-west facing slopes of a shallow valley, in the midst of ancient field systems, which suggests that the settlement was primarily agricultural, rather than defensive. The remains of a fougou can be seen to the south-east of the village, although it has suffered from unsympathetic renovation and is nowhere near as spectacular as the fougou at nearby Carn Euny.