Day Trips, Family Activities, History & Heritage

Chysauster Ancient Village

Newmill, Penzance, Cornwall, UK, TR20 8XA
  • Overview
  • More Info

This Iron Age settlement was originally occupied almost 2,000 years ago and is one of the finest examples of such in the country.

The village was made up of of stone-walled homesteads known as ‘courtyard houses’, found only on the Land’s End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly. The houses line a ‘village street’, and each had an open central courtyard surrounded by a number of thatched rooms.

The people of Chysauster were farmers and archaeological investigations have revealed that cereal crops were grown in the fields surrounding the village. It is also highly likely that pigs and goats were kept by the settlers and the site is believed to have been occupied for around 100 years. The reason for their departure is not known but could have possibly have been due to a decrease in the population or the availability of fuel.

Today visitors can walk around the village settlement to gain a sense of what the houses would have looked like and how the settlement was laid out. There are also the remains of an enigmatic ‘fogou’ underground passage – the purpose for this could have been as a ritual building, a hiding place or a cold store – what do you think it was used for?

Set on a hillside, the site has stunning views across the countryside and out to the sea and is home to a fantastic range of flora, fauna and wildlife as well as some visiting birds enjoying the warm climate of the far west of Cornwall.


  • Parking
  • Shop
  • Gardens
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Play area/adventure playground
  • Dog-friendly


  • English Heritage member Free
  • Adult £4.20
  • Children (aged 5 – 15) £2.50
  • Concession £3.80
  • Family (two adults and up to three children) £10.90

Opening times

Currently closed, open from 1 April 2017.


There are approximately 15 unmarked spaces in the free site car park, which is located 1/4 mile downhill from the shop entrance and roughly 1/2 mile from the main site. Visitors will need cross a “C” road on foot after parking.

Local directions

By road

Located 2 1⁄2 miles NW of Gulval, off B3311

By bus

On First service 16 journeys via Zennor alight New Mill, then 1 1⁄2 miles walk.

Alternatively First 16 to Castle Gate and then about 1 3⁄4 miles walk.

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