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AD43 to 410

Hillforts had fallen out of use and houses became oval instead of circular by the Romano-British period, but rounds continued to be built. In fact during the Roman period the settlement pattern changed little from that of the Iron Age.

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One development was the appearance of courtyard house settlements in West Penwith and the Isles of Scilly. These were open settlements containing large stone built oval houses with several rooms arranged around a central courtyard.

Everyday life in Cornwall changed little under Roman rule with few forts and villas; the archaeological record shows a remarkable degree of continuity from the later Iron Age. Enclosed farms or hamlets continued to be the predominant type of settlement in the countryside. Their number increased during this period, with an apparent spate of enclosure building taking place in the second century AD.

The Roman Empire came under ever increasing threat and shortly after AD 400 the armies were withdrawn. It is likely that around this time the government of the British province collapsed.

Links to more information on key themes:

Farms, Villages and Towns