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Two platform cairns on Wingletang Down, 35m WNW of Wingletang Carn

A Scheduled Monument in St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly

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Latitude: 49.8865 / 49°53'11"N

Longitude: -6.34 / 6°20'23"W

OS Eastings: 88372.854515

OS Northings: 7510.819587

OS Grid: SV883075

Mapcode National: GBR BXQZ.JSX

Mapcode Global: VGYCB.235T

Entry Name: Two platform cairns on Wingletang Down, 35m WNW of Wingletang Carn

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1976

Last Amended: 4 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009273

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15322

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 platform cairns and the archaeologically
sensitive area between them, situated towards the southern side of Wingletang
Down, near Beady Pool, on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly. The two platform
cairns are situated 12m apart on a north west to south east axis.
The south eastern cairn survives with an oval mound of heaped rubble and
boulders, measuring 6m north-south by 4.2m east-west, rising 0.3m high to a
flattened upper surface. The south eastern edge of the mound is truncated by
the encroachment of a deeply rutted modern track which runs north-south across
the centre of Wingletang Down.
The north western cairn survives with a sub-circular mound, up to 7m in
diameter, rising up to 0.5m high to a flattened upper surface.
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 near Wingletang Carn have survived reasonably well,
despite some minor damage to the edge of the south eastern cairn by the
adjacent modern track. 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


Books and journals
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
Cairn F, Ordnance Survey, NAR/OS record sheet for SV 80 NE 14, (1978)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7015.06, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A., AM 107 for Cornwall SMR entry PRN 7015.07, (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
Morley, B. & Rees, S., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 1014, 1975, consulted 1993
Schofield, Dr A J, MPP IAM, Guidance re. uncheckable cairns under impenetrable vegetation, (1993)
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map; SV 8807
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

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