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'
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.
Platform cairns are funerary monuments of Early Bronze Age date (c.2000-1600
BC). They were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble, up to
40m in external diameter though usually considerably smaller, covering single
or multiple burials. Some examples have other features, including peripheral
banks and internal mounds constructed on the platform. A kerb of slabs or
edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edge of the platform, and a peripheral
bank or mound if present. Platform cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in
small groups or in cairn cemeteries. In cemeteries they are normally found
alongside cairns of other types.
Platform cairns form a significant proportion of the 387 surviving cairns on
the Isles of Scilly; this is unusual in comparison with the mainland. All
surviving examples on the Isles of Scilly are considered worthy of protection.
This platform cairn near Hoe Point has survived substantially intact, with
only minor disturbance evident. The presence of this cairn in a group
containing various other classes of cairn shows the diversity of funerary
activity during the Bronze Age. The relationships between this and the other
cairn group, the nearby prehistoric field systems and the topography on this
small island, demonstrates well the nature of land use among prehistoric
communities and the organisation of funerary and farming activities.
The monument includes a prehistoric kerbed platform cairn situated on gently
sloping ground near the southern tip of Gugh in the Isles of Scilly.
The platform cairn survives with a flat-topped mound of heaped rubble, 6m in
diameter and up to 0.5m high. Six slabs on the steep sides of the mound form a
discontinuous kerb, up to 0.4m high, around the flattened upper surface. Three
of the kerb slabs form a contiguous row along the mound's southern edge, a
further three are spaced along the north west edge of the cairn, one of the
latter is edge-set, the other two appear slightly displaced. An unrecorded
excavation has produced a hollow, 0.2m deep, in the centre of the mound's
This cairn forms one of a group of 22 cairns, including two entrance graves,
which occupy the southern part of Gugh. All except two of the cairns are
located on and immediately north of a low ridge crossing the island
transversely from 75m north west of this cairn. The other cairn south of the
ridge in this group is located 42m ENE of this monument. Part of a prehistoric
field system is located beyond the eastern limit of this cairn group on
Dropnose Point, 300m to the north east. Another large and diverse cairn group,
partly integrated with a prehistoric field system, occupies Kittern Hill on
northern Gugh, 600m to the north.
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.