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Kerbed platform cairn on Wingletang Down, 75m NNE of Porth Askin

A Scheduled Monument in St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly

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Coordinates

Latitude: 49.8862 / 49°53'10"N

Longitude: -6.3416 / 6°20'29"W

OS Eastings: 88252.325488

OS Northings: 7487.811395

OS Grid: SV882074

Mapcode National: GBR BXQZ.J20

Mapcode Global: VGYCB.1491

Entry Name: Kerbed platform cairn on Wingletang Down, 75m NNE of Porth Askin

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1976

Last Amended: 4 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009272

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15321

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 a prehistoric kerbed platform cairn incorporating a
natural outcrop and situated on the south western side of Wingletang Down on
St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly.
The platform cairn survives with a sub-circular mound of heaped rubble and
boulders, measuring 5m east-west by 4.5m north-south and rising 0.5m high to a
flattened platform, 3m in diameter. The western side of the mound incorporates
a granite outcrop, 0.7m high, which delimits that side of the platform. The
other edges of the platform are defined by a kerb of spaced boulders and
edge-set slabs up to 1m long and 0.7m high, some forming a contiguous row.
This cairn is 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.

This platform cairn near Porth Askin has survived well. The incorporation of
natural outcrops into the mound is a distinctive feature found in certain
other cairns on the Isles of Scilly but unusual and rare nationally. The
presence of this cairn 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)
Other
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7015.03, (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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