Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two kerbed cairns 285m north east of Higher Botallack

A Scheduled Monument in St. Just, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1404 / 50°8'25"N

Longitude: -5.6641 / 5°39'50"W

OS Eastings: 138286.771326

OS Northings: 33132.918854

OS Grid: SW382331

Mapcode National: GBR DXD9.NBX

Mapcode Global: VH057.RQYR

Entry Name: Two kerbed cairns 285m north east of Higher Botallack

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004279

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 737

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Just

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Pendeen

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes two kerbed cairns, situated on the summit of Carn Bean within Carnyorth Common. The two kerbed cairns survive as closely-spaced circular stony mounds of up to 18m in diameter with partly visible retaining stone built kerbs. The north western cairn has a kerb of up to 0.3m high and partly incorporates a natural rock outcrop. The mound stands up to 0.8m high. A cluster of stones near the centre may form part of a cist. The cairn has been partly cut by an enclosure wall, connected with ancillary buildings, for a nearby mast. The south eastern cairn has several visible protruding stones forming its retaining kerb. It stands to a maximum height of 1m. Both cairns have been subject to some surface stone quarrying.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-421776

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Kerbed cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds defined by an outer kerb of upright stones or walling covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, kerbed cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite stone robbing, the two kerbed cairns 285m north east of Higher Botallack survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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