Kerbed platform cairn 160m north of Hoe Point, Gugh
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008333
Date first listed: 22-Sep-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Isles of Scilly (Unitary Authority)
Parish: St. Agnes
National Grid Reference: SV 89154 07886
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 well, with no evident or recorded disturbance and it has not been excavated. The incorporation of natural outcrops into the mound is a distinctive feature found in certain other cairns on the Isles of Scilly but unusual and rare nationally. 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 incorporating two
natural outcrops in its periphery, situated on the eastern crest of gently
sloping ground overlooking the coastal slope, near the southern tip of Gugh in
the Isles of Scilly.
The platform cairn survives with a flat-topped low mound of turf-covered
heaped rubble, 5.5m in diameter and 0.3m high. The mound incorporates two
large natural outcrops in its eastern periphery; the outcrops measure 2m long
and 1.5m long respectively and rise up to 0.8m high. On the south west
periphery of the mound, a single edge-set kerb-slab is visible, 0.3m long and
rising 0.2m above the turf.
This cairn forms one of a group of 22 cairns, including two entrance graves,
which occupy the southern part of Gugh. All except this monument and one other
cairn are located on or immediately north of a low ridge crossing the island
transversely from 75m north west of this cairn. The other cairn south of the
ridge is located 42m WSW of this monument. Part of a prehistoric field system
is located beyond the eastern limit of this cairn group on Dropnose Point,
275m 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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 15289
Legacy System: RSM
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM107 for Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7060, (1988)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 80 NE Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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