Caer Bran Hill Fort

Caer Bran
Sancreed
Penzance
Cornwall
TR20 8QZ

Caer Bran is an important multi-age hillfort site near Sancreed in West Cornwall, which contains archaeological remains from both the Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. A visit allows you to wander around the fort and take in the stunning views which include St Michael's Mount.

Traditionally considered to be an Iron Age enclosure, recent research shows that Caer Bran actually had origins in the Bronze Age, with the construction of three ring cairns set within a hilltop enclosure. These can still be viewed at the site. Re-enclosure of the monument took place in the Iron Age with a more substantial bank and ditch, and this continuity shows the importance of Caer Bran to the people of the local area.

The outermost bank of the hillfort is up to 4.0m high, fronted by a wide ditch, in places some 2.0m deep, with a slight counterscarp bank to the north-east. The older inner rampart is a less substantial earth bank, having been extensively robbed of stone. The external diameter of the enclosure is approximately 115m, while the interior space is some 60m across. 

It is likely that the character of the landscape around Caer Bran has changed little over the last three thousand years, and the rough ground would have provided seasonal grazing for livestock from local farming settlements – including Caer Bran itself. 

Other features in the landholding include medieval clearance heaps, as well as a number of post-medieval banks on the perimeter of the associated land. A post-medieval track, delineated by two stone-faced earth banks, crosses the area in a NNW-SSE direction, and goes through the middle of the hillfort and one of the ring cairns.

Cathy Woolcock of Cornwall Heritage Trust, who own and manage the site, said “we are excited to have been able to add Caer Bran to the collection of sites across Cornwall that we manage and protect and which are all accessible by the public for free. Cornwall Heritage Trust seeks to preserve and strengthen Cornwall’s heritage and educate current and future generations about the heritage significance of the landscapes we live in; Caer Bran will help us to do this.”

Cornwall Heritage Trust already own neighbouring Sancreed Beacon, and manage the nearby ancient village of Carn Euny. 

The best way to aproach Caer Bran is as the original inhabitants did, and that is by foot. However if you wish to drive there, come in via Sancreed turning left just before reaching the settlement of Grumbla. There is a small parking area below the hillfort.

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