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Courtyard House Settlement

Romano-British AD 43 to 410

Courtyard houses are only found in the far west of Cornwall. They consist of a large open courtyard defined by a massive drystone wall with structures built around the perimeter. Usually a large round or oval dwelling-house faces the entrance and lean-to structures occupy the walls along either side. These ‘long rooms’ are sometimes sub-divided and are interpreted as stores, barns and byres.

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They seem to be a peculiarly localised response to changes taking place during the Romano-British period.

Examples to visit

Carn Euny

The stone houses that make up the visible remains of Carn Euny village represent a settlement that thrived from the late Iron Age through the centuries of the Romano-British period.

Read about Carn Euny


The prehistoric courtyard house settlement known as Chysauster is situated on the south-west facing slopes of a shallow valley with clear views south to the sea. The remains of at least ten courtyard houses and a fogou form a nucleated settlement within a well-defined field system.

Read about Chysauster