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Mawgan Porth Dark Age Village facts for kids

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Mawgan Porth Dark Age Village
Alternate name Porthglyvyan
Location Mawgan Porth
Region Cornwall
Type Ancient village
Founded c. 850 AD
Abandoned c. 1050 AD
Periods Early Middle Ages (Dark Ages)
Cultures Dumnonia
Site notes
Excavation dates 1949-52, 1954 and 1974
Archaeologists Rupert Bruce-Mitford, Paul Ashbee, Ernest Greenfield
Condition Ruins
Public access Yes

Mawgan Porth Dark Age Village is a small ancient settlement consisting of 3 courtyard house complexes and a cemetery on the North coast of Cornwall dating from the 10th century. It was excavated in 1950-54 by Rupert Bruce-Mitford. The site was first discovered after the apparent after the discovery of the skeleton in 1934. The landowner. Mr P A Wailes, had wanted to build on the land and soundings to test the subsoil revealed the skeleton, stone walls, pottery and bone fragments.


A trial excavation was carried out in 1948, and this led to larger scale investigation, between 1950 and 1954


The cemetery contained several adult and child burials enclosed in slab graves. Pottery finds from the excavations form were distinctive forms, partly inspired by the bar-lug tradition of Scilly and Cornwall


Finds from the site are archived at the British Museum and negatives of Charles Woolf's photographs are held by the Photographic Library of English Heritage

Dark Age Cornwall

At one time, very little was known of the period known as the 'Dark Ages' in Cornwall. The Cornwall edition of Victoria County History, only lists stones crosses and the silver hoard that was found at Trewhiddle in 1974. However, the Trewhiddle hoard is one of the finest collections of Early Medieval silverwork found in Britain.

More recent excavations at Tintagel as well as previous digs at Duckpool, St Pirans Oratory near Perranporth and a Settlement excavated at Gunwalloe paint the picture of a vibrant country with a rich and literate elite.

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