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2 April 2005
Lottery grant awarded for Iron Age hill fort

Heritage Lottery Funding has been awarded to Penwith Council (Cornwall, England) for the restoration of the prehistoric Lescudjack Hillfort in Penzance, and acquisition of the site will now begin. The successful application which has resulted in the council being awarded 41,400 means that Penwith will now be able to commission an archaeological survey of the Iron Age hill fort for the site to be sensitively landscaped for the community's enjoyment and for a programme of educational activities to be run with local schools.  
     A council spokesman said: "The council is now able to proceed with the acquisition of the site at the beginning of April." Penwith Council is setting up a Lescudjack Hill Fort Management Group with local representatives to assist with this community project.  Penwith Council's chief executive Jim McKenna said: "Being able to buy an Iron Age hill fort for the community is not something that happens every day! I'd like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as Penzance Town Council and the owner of the site, but most especially the kids at Penzance Infants School who got the ball rolling. This is just the sort of thing that the Heritage Lottery Fund was set up to do."
     County archaeologist Nick Johnson added: "It is extraordinary that this prehistoric hill fort should have survived within the thoroughly urban outskirts of Penzance. "It is a wonderful site with glorious views over Mount's Bay, but one which for years has had an air of neglect about it."
     Lescudjack Hill Fort, circa 100 BCE, is Penwith's largest Iron Age settlement and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The project will be commissioning a geophysical survey and excavations to more fully understand the nature, date and extent of the defences on the hilltop and of discovering something of the internal layout of the hill fort and of the activities which took place within its ramparts. Following excavations, the site will be landscaped appropriately for the best preservation, interpretation and enjoyment of the hill fort and any material excavated of interest will be displayed at Penlee House Gallery and Museum.

Source: This is Cornwall (31 March 2005)

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