Chysauster Ancient Village

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and lush landscapes of Cornwall lies Chysauster Ancient Village, a remarkable window into the past and a testament to the region’s rich history.

This Iron Age settlement, dating back over 2,000 years, offers visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the remnants of an ancient community that once thrived on this windswept plateau.

Discovering Chysauster Ancient Village

Chysauster Ancient Village is one of the best-preserved examples of an Iron Age settlement in the UK.

The site consists of a collection of stone-walled homesteads known as ‘courtyard houses’, which are only found on the Land’s End Peninsula of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

These houses are characterised by their distinctive layout, with a central courtyard surrounded by rooms.

Highlights of Chysauster Ancient Village

Courtyard Houses: Wander through the ruins of these ancient dwellings to gain insight into the daily lives of their inhabitants. Each house is believed to have supported an extended family, with areas designated for sleeping, cooking, and working.

The Fogou: Among the site’s intriguing features is a fogou – an underground passage whose purpose remains a mystery. Such structures are rare and peculiar to the ancient settlements of Cornwall.

Panoramic Views: The village is situated on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. On a clear day, the vista stretches all the way to the coast.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Chysauster Ancient Village is located near Penzance in Cornwall, just a short drive from the town of Gulval.

It is easily accessible by car, with a dedicated car park for visitors. For those relying on public transport, the nearest bus stops are in New Mill and Gulval, both requiring a scenic walk to reach the site.

Opening Times and Admission

Managed by English Heritage, Chysauster Ancient Village is open to the public from spring to autumn, with specific opening hours and days varying throughout the season.

Admission fees apply, with discounts available for English Heritage members. It’s advisable to check the English Heritage website for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.


The site is equipped with basic facilities, including a small car park and information boards that provide historical context and insights into the village.

There are no café facilities on-site, so visitors are encouraged to bring their own refreshments.

The terrain is uneven and can be muddy, so wearing sturdy footwear is recommended.

Maximising Your Experience

Guided Tours: To enhance your visit, consider joining a guided tour if available. Knowledgeable guides bring the history of Chysauster to life, offering fascinating insights into the ancient community.

Bring a Picnic: With no on-site catering, packing a picnic allows you to enjoy a meal with a view amidst the historical ruins.

Photography: Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning landscapes and intriguing architectural details of the ancient village.

Tips for Your Visit

Check the Weather: Being an outdoor site, the experience can vary depending on the weather. A sunny day is ideal for exploring and enjoying the views.

Respect the Site: As a protected archaeological site, visitors are asked to respect the ruins and not climb on the structures.

Accessibility: Due to its natural terrain, the site may not be fully accessible to visitors with mobility issues.

Nearby Attractions

Penzance: Explore the charming coastal town of Penzance, with its bustling harbour, shops, and eateries.

St Michael’s Mount: Visit the iconic tidal island and historic castle, located just a short drive from Chysauster.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens: Discover this unique blend of exotic and sub-tropical plants interspersed with contemporary art installations.


Chysauster Ancient Village offers a captivating glimpse into Cornwall’s Iron Age past, set against the backdrop of the region’s stunning natural beauty.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat from the modern world, Chysauster provides an unforgettable experience that connects visitors with the ancient landscape and its long-gone inhabitants.

This historic site not only celebrates Cornwall’s rich heritage but also serves as a reminder of the enduring human spirit across millennia.