St Keverne Local History Society

Archaeology in The Parish

Poldowrian Site and Archaeological Museum

Poldowrian is a multi-aged site ranging from the late Mesolithic to the Iron Age (c5,500-200BC), situated between Coverack and Kennack Sands, (NGR SW 74851690).

It was discovered in 1967 by the late Mr Peter Hadley and Mrs Hadley who had moved to the farm in 1964. Mr Hadley had always felt that the area had possibilities for archaeological discoveries with its close proximity to the Lankidden Iron Age Cliff Castle and a cliff fire in 1967 was to be the beginning of remarkable discoveries.

Hut circle with doorway in foreground       Hut circle with doorway in foreground As work continued on the farm-land being reclaimed, a house built and valley garden created, worked flint tools began to be discovered.

A field called Castle Close acquired in 1968, revealed a circular feature, which turned out to be the remains of a prehistoric round house.

Three years later in 1978 pottery sherds were discovered during ploughing.
As a result of all the finds Mr Hadley was anxious that parts of the farm should be excavated and from 1978 a series of excavations were undertaken by Mr Hadley, members of the Cornwall Archaeology Society directed by Daphne Harris, and George Smith from the Central Excavation Unit of the Department of the Environment.
Bronze Age Pottery from hut circle
          Bronze Age Pottery from hut circle

Although pottery and flints have been found over much of the farm there are four main areas, which have been examined in detail: -
  • The Mesolithic Area known as the Rock Mound dated from hazel nut fragments to 5,550 - 5,250BC.

  • The Neolithic Site in North Pond Field dated from charcoal to 3,850 - 3,600 BC Cal.

  • The Beaker Mound, yielding one of the best finds of Beaker Pottery in Cornwall, dating c1,540 BC.

  • The Bronze Age Hut dated to c1,380 BC.

Mr. Peter Hadley The Iron Age area nearer the cliffs has not been examined in depth.

As vast amount of material from all the areas was found, (over 48,000 Mesolithic flints alone) Mr. Hadley (pictured left) set up a small Museum in a barn on the farm to display the material, some items were also deposited with the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.

The museum officially opened to the public in 1980.
The Museum and Hut Circle are open to the public free of charge by kind permission of Mrs Hadley, throughout the year by appointment (contact 01326 280130/434) and every Wednesday in August, 10am-5pm.
          Mr. Peter Hadley

Round House
Re-construction of a Round House

Other sites in the Parish

Chynalls Cliff Castle, Coverack NGR SW78601745.

Lankidden Cliff Castle, west of Coverack NGR SW75571652.

Goonhilly Downs, over 65 Bronze Age Barrows and the Late Neolithic / Early Bronze Age 'Dry Tree' Standing Stone NGR SW72562119.

Trebarveth, Romano-British Salt Manufacturing Site, on the seaward side of the public footpath between Coverack and Lowland Point NGR SW79601931.

For more information View the St Keverne Parish Archaeology Check List

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