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Halangy Down settlement

Introduction

Halangy (pronounced 'Linjy') Down Romano-British settlement is located at the south west edge of Halangy Down. Due to rising sea levels, it was probably during this period that the islands we see today were formed. Before this happened the Isles of Scilly formed a single landmass.

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Excavation in the 1950s revealed 11 interconnecting stone-built houses, mostly oval in shape, dating from the Romano-British period. The surrounding field system suggests occupation on this site from the Bronze Age and excavations show occupation of the remaining Romano-British settlement continued into the post-Roman period.

Halangy Down lies on the north-west side of the island of St. Mary's and can be accessed via the coastal footpath that follows the entire coastline of the island.

The site is free to visit, and is open any reasonable time in daylight hours.

There are refreshment facilities available across the island. It is recommended this is researched before the trip.

There are no public transport links directly/close to the area of the site.

View our interactive Access to Monuments map to find this and other nearby sites.

In general, the Romano-British houses at Halangy Down are built of earth and stone, stone faced on both sides, averaging 1.3m wide. Internal subdivisions within the walls representing possible cupboards or stores, hearths, benches and stone-lined drains have all been recorded. Excavations also recorded post holes which tell us that each house had a conical thatched roof.

The largest of the recorded huts is of the courtyard house design. This house is 27m long by 14.5m wide, had three rooms and a long, curved passage.

In 1978 the Ordnance Survey surveyed the site and found evidence of more outlying huts.One of these was excavated in 1988.

The various excavations at the site have produced a number of artefacts including those connected with farming, specifically the rearing of cattle, sheep, pigs and horses. A few scraps of Samian ware from southern Gaul were also recovered.