Archaeology and Landscape at the Land’s End, Cornwall: The West Penwith Surveys, 1982-2010
West Penwith, the Land’s End, the south western extremity of the British Isles has long attracted the attention of archaeologists, landscape historians, writers and artists. Still largely a rural landscape of ancient farmsteads and churchtowns, it also has a famous mining history interwoven into the distinctive character of this rugged peninsula. Across the moorland spine lie numerous prehistoric ceremonial monuments whilst in the surrounding farmland deeply embedded imprints of early settlement reveals extraordinary and rare time-depth.
Today’s fields, particularly across Zennor and Morvah parishes, preserve boundaries that were laid out over 2,000 years ago. For centuries these patterns determined tenure and land use, yet in the early 19th century mining transformed the landscape of the St Just and St Ives districts. Abandoned engine houses, iconic symbols of this once great industry lie scattered along the northern coast amid mine waste and moorland between villages of terraced houses dotted with nonconformist chapels.
This book is the result of over 270 pioneering archaeological surveys and conservation projects carried out over the past 35 years. It seeks deeper understanding of this amazing historic landscape and is a celebration of its unique qualities. It lays down a sound foundation for increased understanding and protection and hopefully will prove an inspiration and a source of information for all who love and care for this special place.
Images used courtesy of Stanhope Design.