Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Kerbed platform cairn 360m north of the Pest House, St Helen's

A Scheduled Monument in Tresco, Isles of Scilly

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 49.9742 / 49°58'27"N

Longitude: -6.3257 / 6°19'32"W

OS Eastings: 89963.239553

OS Northings: 17195.346912

OS Grid: SV899171

Mapcode National: GBR BXRR.CCX

Mapcode Global: VGYBR.9XQ5

Entry Name: Kerbed platform cairn 360m north of the Pest House, St Helen's

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014551

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15432

County: Isles of Scilly

Civil Parish: Tresco

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 near the
tip of a spur overlooking the north western coastal slope of St Helen's, an
uninhabited island in the north of the Isles of Scilly.
The cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble, 7m in diameter,
rising 0.3m to a slightly ovoid flattened platform tilted to the south west in
conformity with the surrounding ground surface. The platform measures 5.2m
NNE-SSW by 5m WNW-ESE, with its perimeter defined by a kerb of at least eight
slabs, generally spaced 0.5m-1m apart. The kerb slabs are mostly laid flat and
up to 0.9m across, but on the SSW they include one edge-set slab, 1m long and
0.25m high. Two smaller flat slabs are visible on the platform within the
kerb, on the NNW and south east.
A second similar platform cairn is located on the island's north west coastal
slope, 35m to the WSW of this monument and only 20m south of a prehistoric
habitation site, called a house platform. A further two kerbed platform cairns
are located 120m to the south, near the centre of the same spur. A large round
cairn containing a funerary cist is situated on the island's summit.
Prehistoric field systems also occur on the island's lower western slopes and
on the upper slope east of the summit. These broadly contemporary features are
the subjects of separate schedulings.

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 on St Helen's has survived well and has not been
excavated. Its location relative to other broadly contemporary funerary and
settlement monuments on this island shows well the wider organisation of
prehistoric land use.

Source: Historic England


consulted 1995, Parkes, C/CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7114, (1988)
consulted 1995, Parkes, C/CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7266, (1988)
consulted 1995, Parkes, C/CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7267.01, (1988)
consulted 1995, Parkes, C/CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7267.03, (1988)
consulted 1995, Parkes, C/CAU, AM 107 for Scilly SMR entry PRN 7267.04, (1988)
consulted 1995, Parkes, C/CAU, AM 107s for Scilly SMR entries PRN 7112-3, (1988)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Maps: SV 81 NE & SV 91 NW
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.