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Eleven round barrows and a stone alignment centred 980m north west of Nine Maidens Stone Row

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: Eleven round barrows and a stone alignment centred 980m north west of Nine Maidens Stone Row

List entry Number: 1021161

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Columb Major

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Issey

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-Feb-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Sep-2003

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32981

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

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.

Despite limited modification, the eleven round barrows and a stone alignment centred 980m north west of Nine Maidens Stone Row survive well. The underlying old land surfaces of the barrows, and remains of any structures or other deposits associated with these and with the upstanding earthworks, will also survive. Differences in form, size, and construction, characteristic of round barrows, are represented here; while the survival of external ditches illustrates regional variation. The prominent hilltop location shows the important role of topography in prehistoric ritual and funerary activity. Stone alignments or rows consist of upright stones set in a single line, or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. As here, they are often located close to prehistoric burial monuments and are therefore thought to have had a ceremonial function. Stone alignments were constructed and used from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age periods (c.2500-1000BC) and provide rare evidence for ceremonial practice at this time.

History

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

Details

The scheduling includes eleven prehistoric round barrows and a stone alignment situated on Prince's Common and Tredinnick Common, on the hill called St Issey Beacon or High Barn, north of St Columb Major. Three of the barrows, and the stone alignment, lie south of the hilltop where fairly flat ground extends towards a broad ridge; the other barrows are on the level summit of the Beacon, and on its rounded north east shoulder. The barrows are closely associated with others outside the scheduling, together forming a wider hill and ridgetop barrow cemetery. With the stone alignment they are also associated with further prehistoric funerary and ritual monuments nearby, again beyond this scheduling. The barrows are fairly closely but unevenly spaced, with two neighbouring pairs among them. The three southern barrows form a nearly straight line running north-south; the stone alignment is similarly orientated, and these two formations coincide for much of their length, so that elements of them are interspersed. The scheduling is divided into seven separate areas of protection. The southernmost barrow in the scheduling, and in the row of three orientated with the stone alignment, lies on the slight saddle between the hilltop and the ridge. This site has been identified as that mentioned in an early account as Retallick Barrow. The barrow is oval in plan, its dimensions being approximately 15m east-west by 22m north-south and up to 2.1m high. It has an earth mound with no known external ditch. The mound has an irregular profile, having a hollow up to 5m across and 1.7m deep in the centre, attributed to antiquarian excavation. Raised ground adjoining the mound on the south is the result of relatively recent modification. The next barrow, on the south of the summit, is slightly oval in plan, measuring up to 28.2m north-south by 26.7m east-west, and is up to 1.3m high. It has an earth and stone mound, steep sided and fairly level on top, with a circular raised area in its centre, again flat topped, around 10m across and 0.2m high. A hollow in the centre up to 3m across and 0.6m deep is thought to represent modern disturbance. On the south west side, traces of a ditch surrounding the mound are visible in the form of a curving depression up to 3m wide and 0.2m deep. To the north is the third, northernmost barrow of the row. This has a low oval earth mound, with no ditch. The mound is considered to be reduced and possibly truncated on the north, but measures in the region of 6.5m NNE-SSW by 5m ESE-WNW and 0.3m high. The stone alignment extends for approximately 205m, from north of Retallick Barrow to north of the third barrow described above. Four component stones are known. The intervals between them are uneven, being approximately 63m, 52m, and 90m (moving from south to north). The stones are similar, unworked blocks of local type with much white quartz (the second stone from the south has a crystalline southern surface), measuring 0.2m to 0.4m across, and 0.3m to 0.5m high above ground. In plan, the base of the stone on the north is roughly square, while the others are more rectangular. The longer faces of the three rectangular stones are set north-south in the direction of the alignment. In the shapes of their outlines, the stones vary, the two in the centre being pointed while the others are flatter. Continuing north and east across the scheduling, the next barrow is near the highest point of the hill. The barrow has a sub-circular earth mound, up to 5.5m across and 0.4m high. It appears to be of platform type, having a flat top, though this appears slightly reduced on the south east. No external ditch is known. Further to the NNW are two barrows on the north side of the summit. The southern one has an earth and stone mound with no ditch, 10m in diameter and up to 1.3m high. It has a distinctive profile, with a raised rim and rounded centre. The rim is some 2m wide and is 1m high above the surrounding ground level, and 0.3m-0.4m high on the inside. The mound surface has been disturbed north of centre, leaving a hollow several metres across and 0.3m deep. The barrow to the NNE is shown on aerial photographs and an early survey as a low platform like mound approximately 14m in diameter, with several stones on its edge thought to form part of a retaining kerb, and a central exploration trench. The barrow is visible on the ground as a slight rise, with a possible quartz kerb stone around 0.6m across on the east. There are no indications of a ditch. Continuing eastwards, on the north east of the summit is a platform type barrow with an earth and stone mound and no evidence of a ditch. The mound measures 22m across and is in the region of 1m high. The first close set pair of barrows is nearby to the east, above the north east shoulder of the hill. Each of these barrows has a mound with a clay-like fabric visible, and no indication of a ditch. The south western one is approximately 16.5m in diameter and up to 0.5m high. Some disturbance has occurred, giving the mound an uneven profile, but it has remains of an outer rim several metres wide on the south and west, and of a raised area north east of its centre. The neighbouring mound to the north east measures around 14m across and up to 0.7m high. Its southern half has a fairly level top, suggesting that it is of platform type, though its northern half has been reduced relatively recently to a height of around 0.3m. The second closely set pair of barrows lies to the north, on the upper north east slopes of the Beacon. The first of these, to the south, is approximately 9.1m in diameter overall. It has an earth and stone mound 6.7m across and up to 0.4m high, with a gently curving profile. Its top has been disturbed near the centre, leaving a hollow up to 2.5m wide and 0.1m deep. Slight depressions around the south and west of the mound are considered to derive from a buried or silted external ditch. The northern barrow in this pair, and the north easternmost in the scheduling, measures 18.7m across overall. Its mound is some 13.2m across and 2m high, and is recorded as containing a clay capping above a stony layer. There is also evidence of a stone kerb. The external ditch varies in width from 2.5m to 3m, and is around 0.4m deep. A hole up to 5m across and 1m deep in the centre of the mound is probably the result of antiquarian exploration, while a flat-bottomed excavation some 5m wide and up to 1.7m deep on its north east may be of more recent origin. The modern fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Polsue, J (ed), 'Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall' in Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall, , Vol. 1, (1867), 227
Other
Herring, P to Parkes, C, (2002)
Herring, P to Parkes, C, (2003)
Mr Heard to Parkes, C, (2003)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
OS 96 NW 33, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
Saunders, AD, AM7, (1959)
SW 96 NW 27, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
SW 96 NW 29, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
SW 96 NW 3, Fletcher, MJ, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1972)
SW 96 NW 32, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
SW 96 NW 33, Fletcher, MJ, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1972)
SW 96 NW 33, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
SW 96 NW 46, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project Source Date: 1995 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1" Map Source Date: 1810 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1" Map Source Date: 1810 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Date approx
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1880 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Date approx.
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map Source Date: 1908 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Date approx.
Title: Ordnance Survey Index Card Source Date: 1977 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SW 96 NW 27
Title: Pydar Map and notes Source Date: 1842 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: MS at RIC library, Truro
Title: St Columb Major Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 2095
Title: St Issey Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: St Issey Tithe Apportionment Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 92901 68027, SW 92913 68388, SW 92925 68422, SW 92967 68277, SW 93131 68383, SW 93214 68388, SW 93265 68516

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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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2017 at 08:23:46.

End of official listing