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Prehistoric entrance grave and two round cairns on the Clapper of Works, 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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Prehistoric entrance grave and two round cairns on the Clapper of Works, Gugh

List entry Number: 1008337

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: 07-Oct-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Oct-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15294

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. Entrance graves are funerary and ritual monuments whose construction and use dates to the later Neolithic, Early and Middle Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC). They were constructed with a roughly circular mound of heaped rubble and earth, up to 25m in diameter, whose perimeter may be defined by a kerb of edge-set slabs or, occasionally, coursed stone. The mound contains a rectangular chamber built of edge-set slabs or coursed rubble walling, or a combination of both. The chamber was roofed by further slabs, called capstones, set across the chamber. The chamber was accessible via a gap in the mound's kerb or outer edge and often extends back beyond the centre of the mound. The cairn's mound and chamber may incorporate natural boulders and outcrops. Excavations in entrance graves have revealed cremated human bone and funerary urns, usually within the chambers but on occasion within the mound. Unburnt human bone has also been recovered but is only rarely preserved. Some chambers have also produced ritual deposits of domestic midden debris, including dark earth typical of the surface soil found within settlements, animal bone and artefact fragments. Entrance graves may occur as single monuments or in small or large groups, often being associated with other cairn types in cemeteries. They may also occur in close proximity to broadly contemporary field boundaries. The national distribution of entrance graves is heavily weighted towards the Isles of Scilly which contain 79 of the 93 surviving examples recorded nationally, the remaining 14 being located in western Cornwall.

Round cairns are also funerary monuments, of Bronze Age date (c.2000 - 700 BC). They were constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble, up to 40m in external diameter though usually considerably smaller, covering single or multiple burials. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edge of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, set into the old ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Round cairns form a high proportion of the 387 surviving cairns recorded on the Isles of Scilly. The considerable variation in form, the longevity and the associations both of round cairns and the nationally rare entrance graves provide important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social organisation in the Bronze Age.

This monument on the Clapper of Works has survived well, with only minor disruption evident at the chamber of the entrance grave due to the unrecorded antiquarian excavation and no disturbance at all evident at the round cairns. The presence of these cairns 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric funerary entrance grave and two prehistoric round cairns situated on a natural eminence, the Clapper of Works, at the western end of a low ridge across the southern part of Gugh in the Isles of Scilly. The entrance grave is located on the top of the Clapper of Works outcrop while the round cairns are situated from 18m north east, on the gentle rise towards the Carn of Works, and are spaced 14m apart on a WNW-ESE axis. The entrance grave survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble, 13m in diameter, incorporating part of the natural outcrop in its make-up and with sides rising steeply to a flattened upper surface, up to 1.5m high. The upper parts of a slab-built burial chamber are visible in the surface of the mound. These surface remains indicate a rectangular chamber, 1.4m wide, with sides defined by edge-set slabs and roofed by long slabs, called capstones, resting on the side slabs and set transversely across the chamber. The four surviving capstones each measure 2m long by 0.7m wide and 0.4m thick. The chamber has a long axis orientated NW-SE and it extends for at least 4m to the centre of the mound from the south eastern periphery of the mound's upper surface. The capstones have been slightly displaced, typically the result of an unrecorded antiquarian excavation, revealing the chamber interior filled with earthen deposits to within 0.4m of the mound's upper surface. The two round cairns each survive with a circular mound of heaped rubble. The WNW cairn of the pair has a mound 6.5m in diameter and up to 0.8m high above the crest of the ridge, overlooking a small valley containing more cairns to the north west. The ESE cairn has a mound 7m in diameter and up to 0.6m high, less prominently sited on the slope towards the Carn of Works. This entrance grave and the two nearby round cairns form part of a larger, more dispersed, group of 22 cairns, including another entrance grave, which occupy the southern part of Gugh. Twenty of the cairns, including this monument, are located on or immediately north of a low ridge which incorporates the Clapper of Works and the Carn of Works, crossing the southern part of the island transversely. The other two cairns are located south of the ridge. Part of a prehistoric field system is located beyond the eastern limit of this cairn group on Dropnose Point, 270m north east of this monument. Another large and diverse cairn group, partly integrated with a prehistoric field system, occupies Kittern Hill on northern Gugh, 500m 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Other
consulted 1993, Waters, A./CAU, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7020.10, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A./CAU, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7020.11, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A./CAU, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7020.12, (1988)
Morley, B. & Rees, S., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 1016, 1975, cairn 'j'
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 80 NE Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SV 89056 07961

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2017 at 09:15:54.

End of official listing