The Roman villa at Magor Farm, Illogan, near Redruth (SW6342) is the only one known in Cornwall, indeed, the only substantial Romano-British building in the entire peninsula to the south-west of Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter, Devon), where lay the civitas capital of the Dumnonii tribe, almost 90 (Roman) miles by road from Illogan.
The primary commercial product of the region was tin, most of which was gathered by “streaming”, collecting nuggets of almost chemically pure tin from the sandy beds of the many streams which drain this rugged landscape, but also mined in the hills to the east of Trevelgue Head near Newquay. It seems likely that the Dumnonian tin trade provided the capital with which the villa was built, and if this was so, it would follow that the villa was very likely the administrative centre for the substantial trade in tin from Cornwall during the later Romano-British period.
References for Illogan
- Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001).
Map References for Illogan
NGRef: SW6342 OSMap: LR203
Roman Roads near Illogan