Round cairn on Wingletang Down, 120m SSW of Sun Rock
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1009257
Date first listed: 07-Oct-1976
Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-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 88446 07631
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.
Round cairns are 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. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a
monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs,
burial practices and social organisation in the Bronze Age and a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.
This round cairn on Wingletang Down has survived well with only minor disturbance by rabbit activity. The presence of this cairn in a dispersed group containing various other classes of cairn shows the diversity of funerary activity during the Bronze Age. The relationships between this cairn group, the nearby prehistoric field systems and the topography on St Agnes demonstrates well the nature of land use among prehistoric communities and the organisation of funerary and farming activities.
The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn situated in the central part
of Wingletang Down on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly.
The round cairn survives with a sub-circular mound of heaped rubble measuring
6.5m north-south by 6m east-west and rising 0.4m high. Recent rabbit burrowing
on the mound's southern and western periphery reveals the mound's rubble
fabric of stones up to 0.2m across.
This cairn forms part of a group containing at least 44 cairns of various
types dispersed about the heathland and abundant granite outcrops of
Wingletang Down, the broad southern peninsula of St Agnes. Prehistoric field
systems border the northern edges of the Down, partly incorporating several
cairns towards the north east edge of this cairn group. Another large and
diverse cairn group occupies the southern part of Gugh, 450m north east of
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: 15330
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.02, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7010; 7013; 7019, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7011; 7015; 7016; 7018, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7020; 7056; 7057; 7059, (1988)
Morley, B. & Rees, S., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 1014, 1975, consulted 1993
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map; SV 8807 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