Carn Euny Ancient Village

Carn Euny Ancient Village

Among the best-preserved ancient villages in South West England, Carn Euny was occupied from the Iron Age until late Roman times. It includes the foundations of stone houses from the 2nd to 4th centuries AD, with walls up to a metre high in places. At the heart of the village is its most intriguing feature – a stone-walled underground passage known as a fogou. This mysterious type of Iron Age monument is found only in the far west of Cornwall.

This archaeological site near Sancreed, on the Penwith peninsula in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom with considerable evidence of both Iron Age and post-Iron Age settlement. Excavations on this site have shown that there was activity at Carn Euny as early as the Neolithic period. There is evidence that shows that the first timber huts there were built about 200 BC, but by the 1st century BC, these had been replaced by stone huts. The remains of these stone huts are still visible today.Carn Euny is best known for the well-preserved state of the large fogou, an underground passageway, which is more than 65 feet long.

The Fogou and Beehive hut

The fogou is thought to be the earliest stage of development of the site and yet still predated by the submerged beehive hut with the courtyard houses growing up around it and it now stretches to 66 feet in length with a domed inner chamber or beehive hut slightly off centre. The original access would have been through a tiny creep passage but now it is open at both ends. Historians are undecided about its exact function of course, with ideas for its use ranging from food storage, to a safe haven from attack to a ritual chamber possibly to commune with the earth goddess.

This fogou runs just below the surface of the ground and is roofed with massive stone slabs. Although the exact purpose of these fogous is still a mystery, possibilities include storage, habitation, or ritual. The site was abandoned late in the Roman period. Location Carn Euny lies in southwest Cornwall in the Penwith District, near the village of Sancreed. The archaeological site can be accessed at any time and the admission is free. Parking can be found in the nearby hamlet of Brane. The site is overlooked by the Iron Age hill fort of Caer Bran. Another similar Romano-British settlement is Chysauster about 10 km to the northeast.