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Entrance grave on Salakee Down, 160m north west of Church Porth, 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: Entrance grave on Salakee Down, 160m north west of Church Porth, St Mary's

List entry Number: 1011933

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: 10-May-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: 15352

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. Entrance graves are funerary and ritual monuments whose construction and use dates to the later Neolithic, Early and Middle Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC). They were constructed with a roughly circular mound of heaped rubble and earth, up to 25m in diameter, whose perimeter may be defined by a kerb of edge-set slabs or, occasionally, coursed stone. The mound contains a rectangular chamber built of edge-set slabs or coursed rubble walling, or a combination of both. The chamber was roofed by further slabs, called capstones, set across the chamber. The chamber was accessible via a gap in the mound's kerb or outer edge and often extends back beyond the centre of the mound. The cairn's mound and chamber may incorporate natural boulders and outcrops. Excavations in entrance graves have revealed cremated human bone and funerary urns, usually within the chambers but on occasion within the mound. Unburnt human bone has also been recovered but is only rarely preserved. Some chambers have also produced ritual deposits of domestic midden debris, including dark earth typical of the surface soil found within settlements, animal bone and artefact fragments. Entrance graves may occur as single monuments or in small or large groups, often being associated with other cairn types in cemeteries. They may also occur in close proximity to broadly contemporary field boundaries. The national distribution of entrance graves is heavily weighted towards the Isles of Scilly which contain 79 of the 93 surviving examples recorded nationally, the remaining 14 being located in western Cornwall.

This entrance grave on southern Salakee Down has survived substantially intact, despite the fairly recent attentions of stone robbers. The proximity of this monument to the other broadly contemporary and differing cairns on Salakee Down and to the house platforms on the coastal slope of the Down demonstrate the organisation of land use, the relationship between burial activity and settlement, and the diversity of funerary monuments during the Bronze Age.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric entrance grave situated on Salakee Down, on a slight SSE facing slope near the southern coast of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. The entrance grave survives with an ovoid mound of heaped rubble measuring 17m north-south by 15m east-west, rising up to 0.8m high. At the centre of the mound, the chamber is indicated by a hollow measuring at least 3m north-south by 1.5m east-west and 0.7m deep. Although most internal details are obscured by dense scrub growth, side-slabs lining the chamber are detectable, including a large slab, measuring 0.8m north-south by 1.5m east-west, defining the southern end of the chamber's western side. The chamber of this entrance grave has been subject to some relatively recent stone-robbing which has resulted in a row of drill-splitting marks along the eastern edge of the chamber's visible side-slab and a spread of rubble spoil over the adjacent parts of the mound's southern end. Beyond this monument, over a dozen surviving broadly contemporary cairns of various types are arranged as dispersed groups on Salakee Down from 70m to the south east. A group of broadly contemporary house platforms is located 350m to the WSW on the coastal margin below the southern slope of the 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
Ratcliffe, J, Sharpe, A, St Mary's Airport Runway Extension, (1991)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Other
consulted 1994, CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7557, (1988)
consulted 1994, CAU, AM 107s for Scilly SMR entries PRN 7531; 7534; 7537; 7540, (1988)
consulted 1994, Waters, A., AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7539, (1988)
Herring, P., The Archaeological Heritage of Bodmin Moor, p.47; unpubl draft text consltd. 1994
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map; SV 9210 Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SV 92179 10159

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 - 1011933 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 12:15:10.

End of official listing