Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Kerbed cairn 365m north west of Tredinney

A Scheduled Monument in St. Buryan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0989 / 50°5'55"N

Longitude: -5.6478 / 5°38'52"W

OS Eastings: 139225.67671

OS Northings: 28458.840566

OS Grid: SW392284

Mapcode National: GBR DXFF.3T2

Mapcode Global: VH05G.2S22

Entry Name: Kerbed cairn 365m north west of Tredinney

Scheduled Date: 8 October 1934

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006680

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 103

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Buryan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Buryan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a kerbed cairn situated on an upland ridge known as Tredinney Carn between Bartine Hill and Carn Brea. The kerbed cairn survives as a circular ring of thirteen edge-set stones of approximately 11m in diameter, surrounding a stony mound up to 1.8m high with a central excavation hollow measuring up to 4.5m in diameter containing two large stones. One of the stones is a natural outcrop. The kerbed cairn was excavated by Borlase in 1868, when he excavated a trench across the centre of the cairn. This exposed a cist, made from eight stones, containing a barrel-shaped decorated Middle Bronze Age urn placed mouth downwards and filled with cremated human bone and two flints. A 'sloping rock' inside the cairn was also surrounded with ashes and charred wood. The Tredinney Urn is now in the British Museum.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-420901

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 and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. As a result of the partial early excavation of the kerbed cairn 365m north west of Tredinney a great amount of archaeological evidence is already known. The cairn will, however, contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, longevity, funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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