Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 230m SSW of Higher Tregiffian

A Scheduled Monument in St. Buryan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0881 / 50°5'17"N

Longitude: -5.6697 / 5°40'10"W

OS Eastings: 137606.369346

OS Northings: 27336.142953

OS Grid: SW376273

Mapcode National: GBR DXCG.5SD

Mapcode Global: VH05M.P11T

Entry Name: Round cairn 230m SSW of Higher Tregiffian

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004632

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 731

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Buryan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Just-in-Penwith

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a round cairn, situated on the summit of a coastal ridge of Trevedra Common, overlooking Whitesand Bay and within the corner of an old burial ground. The cairn survives as a roughly circular rather uneven low mound measuring up to 15m in diameter and 0.5m high. Partially excavated in the mid-20th century, it was found to contain a cist with a larger capstone in which was a rare type of urn with no close British parallels and which C Thomas suggests is of the later Neolithic period. The cairn is composed mainly of stone with some earth. A flint scraper and flake were discovered in the cist and nearby.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-420706

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds 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, 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 partial excavation, the cairn 230m SSW of Higher Tregiffan retains the potential to reveal further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, longevity, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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