Kerbed platform cairn on Wingletang Down, 45m south of Beady Pool
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1009269
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 88398 07267
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 Beady Pool has survived well, with no evident or recorded disturbance. 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 demonstrate 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 the
eastern side of the southern headland of St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly.
The platform cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble measuring
6m in diameter, rising up to 0.4m to a flattened platform, 4m in diameter. The
edges of the mound's flattened platform are defined by a kerb of at least four
slabs, up to 0.25m high though generally rising to only 0.1m from the turf.
The kerb slabs are visible on the north, north west, south west and NNE edges
of the platform.
This cairn is 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: 15318
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7018.05, (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