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Three platform cairns on Wingletang Down, 135m south of Crooked Rock

A Scheduled Monument in St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly

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Coordinates

Latitude: 49.887 / 49°53'13"N

Longitude: -6.3372 / 6°20'13"W

OS Eastings: 88573.274855

OS Northings: 7556.908555

OS Grid: SV885075

Mapcode National: GBR BXRZ.D1N

Mapcode Global: VGYCB.33MF

Entry Name: Three platform cairns on Wingletang Down, 135m south of Crooked Rock

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1976

Last Amended: 4 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009261

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15334

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

Details

The monument includes three prehistoric platform cairns situated in the
eastern part of Wingletang Down on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly.
The cairns are arranged as a linear group on a NNW-SSE axis, with gaps of 7m
between the NNW and central cairns and 17m between the central and SSE cairns.
Each platform cairn survives with a mound of heaped rubble rising to a
flattened upper surface forming a small platform.
The NNW platform cairn in the linear group is 6m in diameter, rising 0.3m to a
platform 3m in diameter. A large flat granite slab is embedded in the surface
of this cairn's platform; the slab, measuring 1.9m north-south by 1m
east-west, is considered to be the covering stone of a box-like burial
structure called a cist.
The central platform cairn in the group is also 6m in diameter, 0.3m high,
with a platform 3m in diameter.
The SSE platform cairn is 6.25m in diameter and 0.3m high, whose western half
is largely occupied by a natural granite outcrop measuring 4m north-south by
1.5m east-west and 0.8m high. A large slab, 2m long by 1m wide, leans against
the east side of the outcrop. The northern and southern edges of the platform
bear a kerb of spaced small slabs, up to 0.25m high.
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.

MAP EXTRACT
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'
settlement.
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 cist covering
slab and the natural outcrop incorporated into the respective mounds of two of
these 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
activities.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Other
consulted 1988, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.12, (1988)
consulted 1988, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7010; 7013; 7019, (1988)
consulted 1988, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7011; 7015; 7016; 7018, (1988)
consulted 1988, Waters, A., AM 107s for Cornwall SMR entries PRN 7020; 7056; 7057; 7059, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.10, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7016.13, (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
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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