Two kerbed cairns 240m WSW of Boscregan


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Just
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Reasons for Designation

Kerbed cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds defined by an outer kerb of upright stones or walling covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, kerbed cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Much is already known about the two kerbed cairns 240m WSW of Boscregan which enhances our understanding of this important pair. They will contain still further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies and overall landscape context.


The monument includes two kerbed cairns, situated on the Boscregan and Hendra Cliff to the south east of Carn Creis. Both cairns survive as circular mounds of stones with retaining outer kerbs, and one incorporates a rock outcrop. Both were subject to partial early excavation by Borlase in the 19th century.

The north eastern cairn measures 8.2m in diameter and is up to 1m high and has a visible outer kerb contiguous in all except the north east quadrant. The kerb is up to 0.5m high and 0.5m thick. Within the kerb a number of recumbent and upright stones may be the remains of an inner kerb and cist discovered by Borlase along with some pottery sherds. Beyond the kerb is a surrounding lens of tumble from within the cairn which measures up to 1m wide and 0.3m high.

The south western cairn measures up to 7.8m in diameter and has at least five large visible stones of up to 1m high, forming part of the retaining kerb. At the centre is a large natural rock outcrop and much of the cairn material between these two features had already been quarried before Borlase's excavation, although some of this cairn material still remains.

Borlase recovered four urns of varying size, some containing burnt bone, flint flakes, part of globular glass vessel and nearby 12 Faience beads, a button, shale discs and the base of a leaf-shaped arrowhead.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-420572 and 420577


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 743
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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