Bull's Paradise and Giants Graves; a settlement and burial ground on Lundy
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 26-May-2019 at 04:18:22.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Torridge (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SS 13641 44201
Reasons for Designation
Lundy is a small, steep sided island in the Bristol Channel, 16m north of
Hartland Point, north Devon. Aligned north-south, it is 6km long by 1km wide
and supports a predominately moorland vegetation. The 100m high cliffs and
tabular form give it a striking appearance, visible in clear weather from
parts of south west England and south Wales.
Lundy's remoteness and (until the 19th century construction of the Beach Road)
its inaccessibility, combined with a lack of shelter and cultivable soils, has
meant that it has escaped more recent occupation or development. It therefore
preserves a remarkable variety of archaeological sites from early prehistory
(c.8000 BC) onwards, representing evidence for habitation, fortification,
farming and industry. There are also archaeological remains in the waters
surrounding the island - over 150 shipwrecks are already recorded. Most of the
island's archaeology is well documented from detailed survey in the 1980s and
The settlement at Bull's Paradise has been described as a small ringwork although little is known of its structural detail. The area has been interpreted as the manorial centre of the island and as such is of significance in understanding its historical development during the medieval period. Part excavation and geophysical survey of this area have demonstrated the quality of surviving remains.
The monument includes earthwork remains of a chapel, a cemetery, a medieval
defended homestead and a medieval midden contained in two enclosed paddocks to
the west of Barton Cottages and Manor Farm north and west of the present
village, on Lundy. The larger area, known as Bull's Paradise, has been partly
excavated and subject to geophysical survey, revealing remains of a defended
medieval homestead. To the east is a smaller paddock containing further
remains including an additional part of the homestead. Further remains to the
south east of Bull's Paradise are now covered or levelled by the construction
of the Manor Farm buildings and related structures. It is uncertain to what
extent the remains survive in this area and so it is not included in the
The south side of the field, called Bull's Paradise, contains evidence for a
possible timber chapel and graves dating from the late 13th century to the
17th century. Pottery and a coin of Edward II found on the site have confirmed
this date range. The site was probably in use when the farm now called Manor
Farm became the primary settlement on the island.
Also in this southern area and now mostly under the farm buildings is the site
of the `Giants Graves'. These were uncovered and reported on in the mid-19th
century. Glass beads survive as evidence for a ninth century burial here and
red pottery reported but now lost may have been Samian ware. One of the
capstones from this burial site now rests outside the tavern and a pillow
stone is in the porch of the church.
The defended medieval homestead is believed, from excavation, to have been a
strong stone building with an outer ditch and internal yard, dating from the
mid-12th century to its deliberate destruction in the mid-13th century. This
may then have been replaced by the construction of Marisco Castle.
In the area of the cemetery a midden has been identified of 13th-17th century
date. This was later dug through for the deposition of further burials. A
large grass covered mound on the west side of Bull's Paradise has been shown
by trial excavation in 1971 to be a mass of tumbled stone and building
material relating to another, as yet undated, homestead.
A number of features within the area are excluded from the scheduling; these
are the walls on the south, west and east of Bull's Paradise, the walls around
the smaller paddock on the east side and two oil tanks built into the south
west corner of the smaller paddock, together with their retaining wall; the
ground beneath all these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Nowakowski, J A, Thomas, C, Grave News from Tintagel, (1992)
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing