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Round cairn 137m east of Helvear Farm, St Mary's

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: Round cairn 137m east of Helvear Farm, St Mary's

List entry Number: 1010167

Location

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

County:

District: Isles of Scilly

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Mary's

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-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: 15376

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. 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 Helvear Hill has survived substantially intact, despite the levelling of its western edge, and it has not been archaeologically excavated. The proximity of this cairn to the kerbed and chambered cairn on Helvear Hill and the disposition of these and the other cairns and field system surviving on the successive hills along the coast are factors combining to illustrate well the diversity of funerary practices and the organisation of land use during the Bronze Age.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn situated near the south east crest of Helvear Hill on north eastern St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. The round cairn is visible as a turf-covered subcircular mound of heaped rubble, up to 12.5m in diameter and rising 1m high. The mound survives to an east-west width of 9m, its western edge truncated and levelled beyond the line of a modern drystone field wall, 0.75m wide, which crosses the western side of the mound. This monument is located near the south western end of the crest of Helvear Hill, 80m south west of a broadly contemporary kerbed and chambered platform cairn. Other chambered cairns and a broadly contemporary field system are located from 330m to the NNW on the flanks of Innisidgen Hill.

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)
Other
consulted 1994, Parkes, C., AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7458, (1988)
consulted 1994, Parkes, C., AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7470, (1988)
consulted 1994, Parkes, C., AM 107s for Scilly SMR entries PRN 7453; 7471, (1988)
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 8715 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SV 92248 12314

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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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 - 1010167 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 04:04:23.

End of official listing