The way of saints
: socio-economic and cultural continuity across the Camel/Fowey corridor from the late Iron Age to the Post-Roman period

  • Mark Borlase

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The Fowey and Camel rivers incise deeply across the Cornwall peninisula between the marilyns of Hensbarrow and Bodmin Moor nearly to meet. This topographical circumstance forms a natural communication corridor negating the 100km hazardous circuitous passage around Land's End.

This thesis examines the socio-economic implications and cultural continuity from the later Iron Age to AD 700 arising from the presence of this route. Through the multi-disciplinary study of landscape archaeology and a thematic approach, the study opens new horizons into settlement in Cornwall.

The present knowledge of Roman involvement with the populous of Cornwall is at very best a blurred picture, but it is of no coincidence that of the three known Roman forts in Cornwall, two lie in this corridor, the third on the Tamar. This study contributes fresh evidence to the record confirming coercion is low-level and un-antagonistic with a high probability of symbiotic interaction. Cultural continuity and insularity is the norm; the study examines the reasoning underlying this. It enquires and engages with the interactive effects the route has on local communities between the periods 200 BC to AD 700. Ultimately the study establishes the corridor forms a strategic and well-used line of communication in the Roman and early medieval periods and places it in the wider Atlantic social context.
Date of Award25 Sep 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorTamar Hodos (Supervisor)

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