Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Treryn Dinas

Treryn Dinas is a historic site in Cornwall, England. It is an ancient promontory fort located near the village of Porthcurno on the southwestern coast of Cornwall.

Local folklore claims it belonged to Arthur.

Treryn Dinas | History

Iron Age | c. 800 BC – 43 AD
Treryn Dinas was likely established during the Iron Age, with the construction of stone ramparts and earthworks for defensive purposes. Promontory forts like Treryn Dinas were built on high coastal cliffs to provide a strategic vantage point for observing and protecting the surrounding area. They served as settlements for the local population and were often occupied for defensive reasons.

Roman Period | 43 – 5th century AD
With the Roman conquest of Britain, there would have been interactions between the local Iron Age inhabitants and the Roman forces. Roman influence extended to many parts of Britain, but the specific impact on sites like Treryn Dinas is not well-documented.

Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th centuries AD
The transition from the Roman period to the early medieval period marked significant changes in the region. The site may have continued to be occupied, but the character and function of Treryn Dinas during this time are not well-documented.

Decline and Abandonment
Many Iron Age hillforts and promontory forts, including Treryn Dinas, ceased to be occupied as permanent settlements after the Iron Age. Changes in population, shifting political dynamics, and evolving settlement patterns likely contributed to their decline.

Some of these ancient sites were repurposed for agricultural use during the medieval and post-medieval periods. Fields and enclosures were often established within the earthwork boundaries of these forts.

The Name
The name “Treryn Dinas” is derived from the Cornish language. Treryn is a Cornish word that refers to a settlement or village on a headland or promontory. It often signifies an ancient site of habitation or fortification on a coastal cliff. Dinas is another Cornish term that means a fortress or fort. In the context of place names, it typically refers to a fortified site, such as a hillfort, promontory fort, or similar ancient defensive structures.

The name “Treryn Dinas” essentially means a fortified settlement or fort located on a coastal promontory or headland.

See also
Roman Empire | The Legend of King Arthur