Two bowl barrows 190m east of Zacry's Islands


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


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SW 83354 63720, SW 83405 63751

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Although a good deal is already known about the two bowl barrows 190m east of Zacry's Islands, they will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronology, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes two bowl barrows situated close to the edge of a prominent coastal cliff, overlooking the southern part of Watergate Bay. The south western barrow survives as a circular mound measuring approximately 18m in diameter and 2.4m high with the concrete base of a triangulation pillar at its summit. This barrow was excavated by Borlase in 1872 and shown to be a mound of burnt earth below which was a slate lined cist with a large coverstone which contained an inhumation, although the bones were badly decomposed and the position of the body could not be determined. The north eastern barrow survives as a circular mound measuring approximately 22.9m in diameter and 3.6m high. It has a large central excavation hollow at the summit. Also excavated by Borlase, the barrow was found to be composed of stones and yellow clay which contained a secondary burial of cremated bone, beneath this was a further cairn sealing a stone lined cist beneath a coverstone containing an inhumation with a Bronze Age axe by the knees.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-429334


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

Legacy System number:
CO 402
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.

End of official listing

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