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Prehistoric linear boundary on Dropnose Point, Gugh

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Prehistoric linear boundary on Dropnose Point, Gugh

List entry Number: 1008324

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Isles of Scilly

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Agnes

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Sep-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15304

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

The Isles of Scilly, the westernmost of the granite masses of south west England, contain a remarkable abundance and variety of archaeological remains from over 4000 years of human activity. The remote physical setting of the islands, over 40km beyond the mainland in the approaches to the English Channel, has lent a distinctive character to those remains, producing many unusual features important for our broader understanding of the social development of early communities. Throughout the human occupation there has been a gradual submergence of the islands' land area, providing a stimulus to change in the environment and its exploitation. This process has produced evidence for responses to such change against an independent time-scale, promoting integrated studies of archaeological, environmental and linguistic aspects of the islands' settlement. The islands' archaeological remains demonstrate clearly the gradually expanding size and range of contacts of their communities. By the post- medieval period (from AD 1540), the islands occupied a nationally strategic location, resulting in an important concentration of defensive works reflecting the development of fortification methods and technology from the mid 16th to the 20th centuries. An important and unusual range of post- medieval monuments also reflects the islands' position as a formidable hazard for the nation's shipping in the western approaches. The exceptional preservation of the archaeological remains on the islands has long been recognised, producing an unusually full and detailed body of documentation, including several recent surveys. The early linear boundaries on the Isles of Scilly were constructed from the Bronze Age to the early medieval period (c.2000 BC-AD 1066): closer dating within that period may be provided by their visible relationships to other classes of monument, or by their relationship with an earlier recorded sea level. They consist of stone walls, up to 3m wide and 1.1m high but usually much slighter, and are formed of heaped rubble, often incorporating edge- or end-set slabs called orthostats. Linear boundaries served a variety of functions. These included separating land regularly cultivated from that less intensively used, separating land held by different social groups, or delineating areas set aside for ceremonial, religious and funerary activities. Linear boundaries are often associated with other forms of contemporary field system. The Isles of Scilly contain examples of an associaton, rarely encountered elswhere, whereby certain linear boundaries directly link several cairns, entrance graves and cists in some groups of prehistoric funerary monuments. Linear boundaries along the coastal margin of the islands are often indistinguishable from the truncated upper walls of early field systems whose remaining extent has been destroyed by the rising sea level. Linear boundaries form a substantial part of the evidence of early field systems recorded on the Isles of Scilly. They provide significant insights into the physical and social organisation of past landscapes and form an important element in the existing landscape. Even where truncated by the rising sea level, their surviving lengths provide important evidence for the wider contemporary context within which other nationally important monuments at higher altitudes were constructed. A substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

This linear boundary on Dropnose Point, Gugh, is constructed in a manner typical of known prehistoric boundaries on the islands; its proximity to the large dispersed cairn group on the island's southern ridge provides the only surviving evidence for the wider organisation of the prehistoric landscape into which that important cairn group was integrated. Its relationship to the hill now forming the promontory also demonstrates well the use of landmark features by prehistoric communities when defining the functional organisation of their landscape.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric linear boundary crossing the small promontory of Dropnose Point on the south east coast of Gugh, Isles of Scilly. The linear boundary survives as a line of spaced edge-set and end-set slabs, called orthostats, up to 0.5m high and generally 0.5m to 1m apart, at whose base are very intermittent and slight traces of heaped rubble bank, up to 1m wide and largely submerged beneath the surface peat. The boundary is visible for 75m; 10m inland from the present north east coastal cliff it extends for 35m to the SSW, rising up the slope of the small conical hill which occupies the promontory, then it curves around the west side of the granite outcrop on its summit and descends the hill slope for a further 35m to the south east, ending on the eroding south eastern sea cliff of the promontory. The boundary's alignment is continued for a further 15m south east beyond the high-water mark by a line of boulders on and wedged in the foreshore bedrock outcrops. This linear boundary forms the only evidence for prehistoric land enclosure to have survived the rising sea level on this part of Gugh. Its western curve, on the summit of Dropnose Point, is 40m north east of the nearest cairn in a dispersed group of 22 broadly contemporary funerary cairns, including two entrance graves, which are located on and around the low ridge which crosses the southern part of Gugh. Another large and diverse cairn group, partly integrated with a prehistoric field system, occupies Kittern Hill on northern Gugh, 475m to the north west.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Other
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 relating to Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7055, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s relating to Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 7021 & 7037, (1988)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 80 NE Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SV 89322 08103

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008324 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 07:59:00.

End of official listing