Kerbed platform cairn 15m north east of Inner Blue Carn, St Mary's


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011927

Date first listed: 21-May-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Mar-1995


Ordnance survey map of Kerbed platform cairn 15m north east of Inner Blue Carn, St Mary's
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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. Mary's

National Grid Reference: SV 91908 10105


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 near Inner Blue Carn has survived well with no visible or recorded disturbance. Its proximity to the other broadly contemporary and differing cairns on Salakee Down and to the house platforms on the coastal slope below the Carn demonstrate the organisation of land use, the relationship between burial activity and settlement, and the diversity of funerary monuments during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric kerbed platform cairn situated on the south western crest of Salakee Down overlooking the southern coastal slope and outcrops of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. The platform cairn is located on a small spur projecting SSW from the main plateau of the Down to the massive natural outcrop of Inner Blue Carn. The cairn survives with a turf-covered circular mound of heaped rubble, 14m in diameter, straddling the spur such that the mound stands 1m high from ground level on the south and west sides, 0.8m high from the east side, and 0.3m high from the north side. The sides of the mound rise to a flattened platform 7m in diameter. The perimeter of the platform is marked and emphasised by an irregularly-spaced kerb of small exposed slabs, up to 0.5m across and 0.1m high, on the north west, east, ESE and SSE sides. A line of exposed rubble, 2.75m long, 0.7m wide and up to 0.4m high, extends to the southern sector of the platform's perimeter from the SSE slab. In addition, the north east slope of the mound incorporates a large ground-fast slab measuring 1.9m long by 1m wide and exposed to 0.1m high. Beyond this monument, over a dozen surviving broadly contemporary cairns of various types are arranged as dispersed groups to the east and north east on Salakee Down. Earlier 20th century records indicate that this monument was the southerly cairn of one such group containing three cairns spaced 30m-70m apart; however surface traces of the northern two cairns have since been cleared due to their location within the perimeter of St Mary's airfield, which passes 20m NNE of this monument. A group of broadly contemporary house platforms is located 60m south west of this monument on the lower coastal slope below Inner Blue Carn.

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: 15346

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ashbee, P, The chambered Tombs on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, (1963), 9-18
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
consulted 1994, CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7557, (1988)
consulted 1994, CAU, AM 107s for Scilly SMR entries PRN 7531; 7534; 7539; 7540; 7560, (1988)
consulted 1994, Waters, A., AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7560.01, (1988)
Saunders, A.D., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 576, 1958, consulted 1994
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 8715 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing