Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two ring cairns 110m north east of Chycarne

A Scheduled Monument in St. Just, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.095 / 50°5'42"N

Longitude: -5.6597 / 5°39'35"W

OS Eastings: 138354.288

OS Northings: 28074.7632

OS Grid: SW383280

Mapcode National: GBR DXDF.JBD

Mapcode Global: VH05F.VW91

Entry Name: Two ring cairns 110m north east of Chycarne

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004317

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 732

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Just

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Just-in-Penwith

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes two ring cairns, situated on the upper western slopes of Carn Brea. The ring cairn to the north west survives as a ring bank of approximately 5.5m in diameter defined by an inner and outer kerb of largely upright stones of up to 1.5m high. The interior area marked by a slight mound of less than 0.2m high. A central flat slab may represent a cist or a fallen kerb stone. It has also been interpreted as a possible entrance grave. The kerbed cairn to the south east survives similarly to the first measuring up to 4.4m in overall diameter with an outer kerb of almost contiguous blocks up to 0.7m high and a bank of up to 1.1m wide. The interior is less than 0.3m high with a similar central slab possibly from a cist.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-420692 and 420863

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. The two ring cairns 110m north east of Chycarne survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, function, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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