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Three platform cairns and adjacent prehistoric linear boundary on Wingletang Down, 70m west of Crooked Rock

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: Three platform cairns and adjacent prehistoric linear boundary on Wingletang Down, 70m west of Crooked Rock

List entry Number: 1009276

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: 04-Oct-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15337

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. 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.

The early linear boundaries of the Isles of Scilly were constructed from the Bronze Age to the early medieval period (c.2000 BC-AD 1066); closer dating within that period may be provided by their visible relationships to other classes of monument with a shorter known time-span of use, or by their relationship with an earlier sea level. They consist of stone walls, up to 3m wide and 1.1m high, but usually much slighter, and formed of heaped rubble, often incorporating edge- or end-set slabs called orthostats. Linear boundaries served a variety of functions. These may include separating land regularly cultivated from that less intensively used, separating land held by different social groups, and forming functional divisions such as the delineation of land set aside for ceremonial, religious and funerary activity. Linear boundaries are often associated with other forms of contemporary field system. The Isles of Scilly also contain a distinctive association, rarely encountered elsewhere, whereby certain linear boundaries directly link several cairns, entrance graves and cists in some groups of prehistoric funerary monuments. Although no precise figure is available, linear boundaries form a substantial proportion of the 71 surviving areas of prehistoric field systems recorded on the Isles of Scilly. They provide significant insights into the physical and social organisation of past landscapes and they provide important evidence for the wider contemporary context within which other nationally important monuments were constructed. These platform cairns and their adjacent linear boundary on Wingletang Down have survived well, their close association being a distinctive feature found elsewhere on the Isles of Scilly but unusual and rare nationally. The presence of these cairns 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes three prehistoric platform cairns, two of which are linked by a prehistoric linear boundary, situated on the eastern part of Wingletang Down on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly. The two cairns linked by the linear boundary are situated 33m apart on a NNE-SSW axis; the third cairn is situated 12m north east of the southern cairn. Each platform cairn survives with a mound of heaped rubble rising to a flattened upper surface forming the platform. The cairn at the NNE end of the linear boundary measures 8m in diameter and rises 0.5m high; the cairn at the SSW end measures 8.5m in diameter and rises 0.5m high. On the south side of the southern mound's centre is an edge-set slab, 0.75m long, 0.35m thick and 0.25m high. A much smaller slab is exposed in this cairn's surface north of the mound's centre. The linear boundary linking these two cairns is visible as a slight turf-covered bank, up to 1.75m wide and 0.1m high, which runs NNE from the northern side of the SSW cairn, extending in a straight line to join the NNE cairn tangentially, merging with its south east side. The course of the linear boundary passes 8m WNW of the third platform cairn. This cairn is 9m in diameter and 0.5m high, with a small cluster of rounded slabs embedded in the surface of the mound to the south of its centre and an edge-set slab, 0.2m high, leaning outwards on the eastern perimeter of the mound. The cairns form 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 Wingletang Down.

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., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.17, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.18, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.20, (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
Morley, B. & Rees, S., Scheduling maplet accompanying AM7 for CO 1014, 1975, consulted 1993
Title: 1:2500 Map; SV 8807 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map; SV 8807 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SV 88521 07686

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 18-Nov-2017 at 02:14:59.

End of official listing