Carne Beacon round barrow 320m north of Carne Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019745

Date first listed: 09-Sep-2000

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Carne Beacon round barrow 320m north of Carne Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Veryan

National Grid Reference: SW 91263 38647


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving examples recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Carne Beacon round barrow 320m north of Carne Farm survives well. Despite limited disturbance to the top of the mound, the barrow remains substantially intact. The underlying old land surface, and original deposits associated with the mound, and the bases of the ditches, will also remain. The location on a false crest shows well the important role of topography in Bronze Age funerary activity. The large mound and double ditch illustrate the diversity in size and form of round barrows, and the reuse of the site as a beacon and a wartime observation post demonstrates the continuing importance of this monument type as an element in the landscape.


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


The scheduling includes a prehistoric round barrow, used as a beacon in historic times, situated on near level ground on a false crest of a hill south of Veryan, with a steep coastal slope to the west. The barrow has a very prominent earth and stone mound, measuring approximately 40m in diameter and 5.5m high. Its profile is regular, with steep sides and a flat top some 11m across. An area at the centre and west of the mound top, however, has been disturbed and reduced in height by around 0.5m-1m. This is considered to result partly from an antiquarian excavation of 1855, which produced evidence of a central cist containing a cremation and several other cremations around this, although the appearance of the mound was said to have been restored afterwards. At the higher south side of this area is a World War II observation post, with a rectangular concrete platform measuring 4.1m north-south by 2.5m east-west and up to 0.4m high, with traces of a former superstructure. A stone faced boundary bank, forming an element of a post-medieval field system and considered to be medieval in origin, runs roughly north-south across the top of the mound east of centre. It is 1m wide and survives to 0.5m high. The visible length is 14m but it probably continues under the scrub on the steep sides of the mound. Aerial photographs show parts of two concentric buried external ditches, the inner ditch centred approximately 10m out from the mound base, and the outer ditch centred approximately 10m beyond the inner. By analogy with other round barrows, these are considered to be approximately 3m wide, and to encircle the whole barrow. A slight dip visible on the ground about 7m east of the mound may derive from the inner edge of the inner ditch. The modern ladder steps and rail, all modern fencing and gateposts are excluded from the scheduling, although ground beneath these features is included.

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: 32938

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Acton, V, Carter, D, Cornish War and Peace - The Road to Victory, (1995), 80-81
Hearne, T, The Itinerary of John Leland, (1769)
Tonkin, T, Parochial History of Cornwall, (1720)
Whitaker, J, Cathedral of Cornwall, (1804), 302
Adams, J, 'Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in An Account of the Opening of Veryan Beacon, , Vol. 37, (1855), 23-26
Andrews, CKC, AM7, (1939)
Holmes, L, to Parkes, C, (2000)
Sheppard, P, AM12, (1979)
Sheppard, P, AM12, (1980)
SW 93 MW 1, CC, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1880 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1908 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 2" drawing Source Date: 1811 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Veryan Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Veryan Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1444
Ts at CAU, James, D, Notes on the ancient earthworks at Curgurrel, near Gerrans, (1991)

End of official listing