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Kerbed platform cairn 15m north east of Inner Blue Carn, St Mary's

A Scheduled Monument in St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly

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Latitude: 49.9116 / 49°54'41"N

Longitude: -6.293 / 6°17'34"W

OS Eastings: 91907.589822

OS Northings: 10105.31267

OS Grid: SV919101

Mapcode National: GBR BXVX.GBC

Mapcode Global: VGYC4.WH03

Entry Name: Kerbed platform cairn 15m north east of Inner Blue Carn, St Mary's

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1963

Last Amended: 16 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011927

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15346

County: Isles of Scilly

Civil Parish: St. Mary's

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Isles of Scilly

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric kerbed platform cairn situated on the
south western crest of Salakee Down overlooking the southern coastal slope and
outcrops of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly.
The platform cairn is located on a small spur projecting SSW from the main
plateau of the Down to the massive natural outcrop of Inner Blue Carn. The
cairn survives with a turf-covered circular mound of heaped rubble, 14m in
diameter, straddling the spur such that the mound stands 1m high from ground
level on the south and west sides, 0.8m high from the east side, and 0.3m high
from the north side. The sides of the mound rise to a flattened platform 7m in
diameter. The perimeter of the platform is marked and emphasised by an
irregularly-spaced kerb of small exposed slabs, up to 0.5m across and 0.1m
high, on the north west, east, ESE and SSE sides. A line of exposed rubble,
2.75m long, 0.7m wide and up to 0.4m high, extends to the southern sector of
the platform's perimeter from the SSE slab. In addition, the north east slope
of the mound incorporates a large ground-fast slab measuring 1.9m long by 1m
wide and exposed to 0.1m high.
Beyond this monument, over a dozen surviving broadly contemporary cairns of
various types are arranged as dispersed groups to the east and north east on
Salakee Down. Earlier 20th century records indicate that this monument was the
southerly cairn of one such group containing three cairns spaced 30m-70m
apart; however surface traces of the northern two cairns have since been
cleared due to their location within the perimeter of St Mary's airfield,
which passes 20m NNE of this monument. A group of broadly contemporary house
platforms is located 60m south west of this monument on the lower coastal
slope below Inner Blue Carn.

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.

This platform cairn near Inner Blue Carn has survived well with no visible or
recorded disturbance. Its proximity to the other broadly contemporary and
differing cairns on Salakee Down and to the house platforms on the coastal
slope below the Carn demonstrate the organisation of land use, the
relationship between burial activity and settlement, and the diversity of
funerary monuments during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ashbee, P, The chambered Tombs on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, (1963), 9-18
Russell, V, Isles of Scilly Survey, (1980)
consulted 1994, CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7557, (1988)
consulted 1994, CAU, AM 107s for Scilly SMR entries PRN 7531; 7534; 7539; 7540; 7560, (1988)
consulted 1994, Waters, A., AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7560.01, (1988)
Saunders, A.D., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 576, 1958, consulted 1994
Title: 1:2500 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 8715
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

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