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Two kerbed platform cairns on Wingletang Down, 110m north east of Wingletang Carn

A Scheduled Monument in St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly

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Latitude: 49.8872 / 49°53'13"N

Longitude: -6.3383 / 6°20'17"W

OS Eastings: 88499.436416

OS Northings: 7580.963478

OS Grid: SV884075

Mapcode National: GBR BXQZ.KL0

Mapcode Global: VGYCB.3329

Entry Name: Two kerbed platform cairns on Wingletang Down, 110m north east of Wingletang Carn

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1976

Last Amended: 4 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009259

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15332

County: Isles of Scilly

Civil Parish: St. Agnes

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Isles of Scilly

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes two prehistoric kerbed platform cairns, one of which
incorporates a natural outcrop, situated in the eastern part of Wingletang
Down on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly. The cairns are located 10m apart
on a north east to south west axis.

The north eastern platform cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped
rubble, 5.5m in diameter, rising 0.25m to a flattened platform. The
platform supports a smaller mound, located slightly east of the platform
centre, measuring 2.5m in diameter and rising 0.15m from the platform
surface. A large natural granite outcrop, measuring 3.2m north west to
south east by 2.75m north east to south west, extends across the northern
part of the cairn from the northern edge of the central mound to the
perimeter of the cairn. A kerb of spaced small blocks, up to 0.2m high, is
visible along the southern edges of the cairn's mound.

The south western cairn survives with a sub-circular mound of heaped
rubble, measuring 6.5m east-west by 6m north-south, rising 0.35m to a
flattened platform, 4m in diameter, whose perimeter is defined by a kerb
of spaced slabs, up to 1m long, lying flat on the mound. The kerb's
south west sector incorporates an additional feature forming a box-like
burial structure called a cist. The cist measures 1m north west to south
east by 0.8m north east to south west overall. Its north east side is
formed by a single edge-set slab, 0.6m long and 0.3m high, on the line
of the kerb. The south west side of the cist is formed by a row of smaller
edge-set slabs totalling 1m long and 0.2m high. These sides give the cist
an internal width of 0.2m, slightly hollowed and open at both ends. A
relatively recent deposit of additional material is evident at this
structure in the form of a scatter of slate fragments, some bearing
traces of mortar, and several pieces of freshly-fractured stone.

These cairns form part of a group containing at least 44 cairns of
various types dispersed about the heathland and abundant granite outcrops
of Wingletang Down, the broad southern peninsula of St Agnes. Prehistoric
field systems border the northern edges of the Down, partly incorporating
several cairns towards the north east edge of this cairn group. Another
large and diverse cairn group occupies the southern part of Gugh, 450m north
east of Wingletang Down.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Isles of Scilly, the westernmost of the granite masses of south west
England, contain a remarkable abundance and variety of archaeological remains
from over 4000 years of human activity. The remote physical setting of the
islands, over 40km beyond the mainland in the approaches to the English
Channel, has lent a distinctive character to those remains, producing many
unusual features important for our broader understanding of the social
development of early communities.
Throughout the human occupation there has been a gradual submergence of the
islands' land area, providing a stimulus to change in the environment and its
exploitation. This process has produced evidence for responses to such change
against an independent time-scale, promoting integrated studies of
archaeological, environmental and linguistic aspects of the islands'
The islands' archaeological remains demonstrate clearly the gradually
expanding size and range of contacts of their communities. By the post-
medieval period (from AD 1540), the islands occupied a nationally strategic
location, resulting in an important concentration of defensive works
reflecting the development of fortification methods and technology from the
mid 16th to the 20th centuries. An important and unusual range of post-
medieval monuments also reflects the islands' position as a formidable hazard
for the nation's shipping in the western approaches.
The exceptional preservation of the archaeological remains on the islands has
long been recognised, producing an unusually full and detailed body of
documentation, including several recent surveys.
Platform cairns are funerary monuments of Early Bronze Age date (c.2000-1600
BC). They were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble, up to
40m in external diameter though usually considerably smaller, covering single
or multiple burials. Some examples have other features, including peripheral
banks and internal mounds constructed on the platform. A kerb of slabs or
edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edge of the platform, and a peripheral
bank or mound if present. Platform cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in
small groups or in cairn cemeteries. In cemeteries they are normally found
alongside cairns of other types.
Platform cairns form a significant proportion of the 387 surviving cairns on
the Isles of Scilly; this is unusual in comparison with the mainland. All
surviving examples on the Isles of Scilly are considered worthy of protection.

These platform cairns on Wingletang Down have survived well; the deposition of
a small quantity of additional stone on the south western cairn has not
produced any evident disturbance to its internal features. The natural outcrop
and the cist incorporated into the respective mounds of these two cairns are
distinctive features found in certain other cairns on the Isles of Scilly but
unusual and rare in platform cairns nationally. The presence of these cairns
in a dispersed group containing various other classes of cairn shows the
diversity of funerary activity during the Bronze Age. The relationships
between this cairn group, the nearby prehistoric field systems and the
topography on St Agnes demonstrate well the nature of land use among
prehistoric communities and the organisation of funerary and farming

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.05, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.06, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7010; 7013; 7019, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7011; 7015; 7016; 7018, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7020; 7056; 7057; 7059, (1988)
Morley, B. & Rees, S., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 1014, 1975, consulted 1993
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map; SV 8807
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

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