Chysauster hut layout
A typical hut layout
Chysauster was an Iron Age village inhabited from about 100 BC to sometime in the 3rd century AD. It was probably built by members of the Dumnonii tribe of Cornish Britons. The village is composed of eight courtyard houses, laid out in two rows of four. Outside the main grouping of houses is another stone house, and there are the remains of several outlying buildings in the surrounding fields.

Each of the main houses is similar in layout. The building is oriented on an east-west axis, which the entrance in the east. The east-west diameter is approximately 90 feet. A passage leads from the entrance to an inner courtyard of about 25 feet diameter.

On the far side of the couryard is a small circular room with chambers radiating out from it. Rooms for storage and living were built into the walls, which are as thick as 14 feet in places.

In some of the houses there is evidence of covered stone drains. A quern for grinding grain can be seen at the site, as can a collapsed fougou, or underground tunnel.

The inhabitants of Chysauster survived by farming and livestock raising. Evidence of field enclosures show where the herds were prevented from getting at food crops.

A basin perhaps?
Here you get a good view of the circular nature of the Chysauster huts and the wall construction.
Remains of what may be a hearth within one of the hut enclosures
A Fogou at Chysauster
Almost the first remains you come to when entering the Chysauster site is this fogou, or underground storage cellar.