Round cairn on Carn Polpry


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1004624

Date first listed: 05-Jun-1961

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn on Carn Polpry
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Just

National Grid Reference: SW 35799 29832

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds 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, 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. Despite partial early excavation, the round cairn on Carn Polpry will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.


The monument includes a round cairn, situated on the far western coast of Cornwall on the rocky cliffs of Carn Polpry, overlooking Polpry Cove. The cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 8.5m in diameter, with a rim bank of small stones measuring 3m wide and up to 0.9m high. There are two protruding kerb stones visible to the north west, and a central excavation hollow. The cairn was partially excavated by Borlase in the late-19th century, along with two others and together they produced pottery from at least seven urns, burnt human bone, a flint and a perforated beach pebble. This particular cairn was also found to contain an inner stone wall. Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity some are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-420567


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

Legacy System number: CO 587

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

End of official listing