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Two round cairns 90m north of the Clapper of Works, Gugh

A Scheduled Monument in St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly

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Latitude: 49.8915 / 49°53'29"N

Longitude: -6.3307 / 6°19'50"W

OS Eastings: 89070.869215

OS Northings: 8031.005539

OS Grid: SV890080

Mapcode National: GBR BXRZ.31R

Mapcode Global: VGYC4.7Z2J

Entry Name: Two round cairns 90m north of the Clapper of Works, Gugh

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1976

Last Amended: 29 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012345

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15293

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 closely spaced prehistoric round cairns situated on
the southern slope of a shallow valley north of Clapper of Works, on the
southern part of Gugh in the Isles of Scilly.
The cairns are situated 14m apart on a WSW-ENE axis and each survives with a
circular mound of heaped rubble, 5m in diameter. The mound of the WSW cairn
rises 0.4m high, while that of the ENE cairn rises 0.3m high.
They form a distinct pair of similar cairns within a larger, more dispersed,
group of 22 cairns, including two entrance graves, which occupy the southern
part of Gugh. Twenty of the cairns, including this monument, are located on or
immediately north of a low ridge which incorporates the Clapper of Works and
the Carn of Works, crossing the southern part of the island transversely. The
other two cairns are located south of the ridge. Part of a prehistoric field
system is located beyond the eastern limit of this cairn group on Dropnose
Point, 230m ENE of this monument. Another large and diverse cairn group,
partly integrated with a prehistoric field system, occupies Kittern Hill on
northern Gugh, 425m to the north.

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.
Round cairns are funerary monuments of Bronze Age date (c.2000-700 BC). They
were constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble, up to 40m in external
diameter, though usually considerably smaller, covering single or multiple
burials. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edge of the mound.
Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion within a box-like structure
of stone slabs called a cist, set into the old ground surface or dug into the
body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in small
groups or in larger cemeteries.
Round cairns form a high proportion of the 387 surviving cairns recorded on
the Isles of Scilly. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a
monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs,
burial practices and social organisation in the Bronze Age and a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

These round cairns near the Clapper of Works have survived well, with no
evident or recorded disturbance and they have not been excavated. The presence
of these cairns in a group containing various other classes of cairn shows the
diversity of funerary activity during the Bronze Age. The relationships
between this and the other cairn group, the nearby prehistoric field systems
and the topography on this small island, demonstrates 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., Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7020.08, (1988)
consulted 1993, Waters, A./CAU, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 7020.07, (1988)
Morley, B. & Rees, S., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 1016, 1975, cairn 'k'
Title: 1:10000 Map; SV 80 NE
Source Date: 1980

Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map, SV 80 NE
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

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