This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Kerbed platform cairn on Menawathan

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: Kerbed platform cairn on Menawathan

List entry Number: 1010151

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Isles of Scilly

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Martin's

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Feb-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15386

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.

This platform cairn on Menawathan has survived well, with no visible or recorded evidence for previous disturbance. The relationships between this monument, the other varied types of funerary cairn and field system on the Eastern Isles, and the known submergence of the land since they were built, illustrate in a dramatic way the major environmental changes that have affected the setting of some surviving prehistoric monuments since their construction and show the diversity of funerary practices and the organisation of land use among prehistoric communities.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric kerbed platform cairn situated on the eastern summit of the small uninhabited rocky island of Menawathan, one of the easternmost of the Eastern Isles in the Isles of Scilly. The platform cairn survives with a turf-covered circular mound of heaped rubble, 10m in diameter, rising up to 1.3m to a flattened upper platform, 5m in diameter. Occasional turf-level slabs of a spaced kerb are visible along the edge of the platform. At the centre of the mound is a large flat slab considered to derive from the cairn's central funerary structure. The slab is level with the mound's upper surface and measures 2m long, north west- south east, by 1.2m wide. Although this cairn is now located on a small isolated rocky island, the physical environment in which it was built was a rocky promontory at the eastern edge of the single large island that formerly united much of the area of the present Isles of Scilly archipelago from St Mary's northwards. The gradual sinking of the land since this cairn was constructed has led to the fragmentation of that island into the present scatter of large and small islands and rocks. Broadly contemporary funerary monuments and field systems of various types are located on other islands in the Eastern Isles group, all formerly hills on the eastern margin of the pre-submergence island, including examples on Great Ganilly and the Arthurs, from 1.3km to the west and 915m to the north west of this monument respectively.

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)
Thomas, C, Exploration of a Drowned Landscape, (1985)
Thomas, C, Exploration of a Drowned Landscape, (1985)
Other
consulted 1994, Parkes, C., AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7136, (1988)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Maps; SV 91 SE & SV 91 SW Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SV 95537 13659

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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010151 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 07:41:42.

End of official listing