Ancient Monuments

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Chapel remains, cemetery and prehistoric settlement on Beacon Hill, Lundy

A Scheduled Monument in Area not comprised in any Parish-Lundy Island, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1669 / 51°10'0"N

Longitude: -4.6728 / 4°40'22"W

OS Eastings: 213227.131549

OS Northings: 144250.342836

OS Grid: SS132442

Mapcode National: GBR GTVL.SCX

Mapcode Global: VH2S3.YXJT

Entry Name: Chapel remains, cemetery and prehistoric settlement on Beacon Hill, Lundy

Scheduled Date: 17 June 1970

Last Amended: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016040

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30351

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Area not comprised in any Parish-Lundy Island

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lundy

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes an irregular oval enclosed burial ground on the summit
of Beacon Hill within and beyound which are the remains of a prehistoric hut
circle settlement.
The walls on the north west, north and north east sides of the enclosure are
stone walls constructed by Trinity House as part of the enclosure of the
buildings ancillary to what is now called The Old Lighthouse. These walls
follow the line of an ancient enclosure for the burial ground. On the south
west side the enclave is formed by a bank and ditch which are early medieval
in date and this can be traced on the south east side as a low earthwork in
the field adjacent to the present enclosure.
Within the burial ground are the remains of a small, rectangular, medieval
chapel which may have been dedicated to St Helen, Elene or Endelient. The
remains include the foundations, exposed by part excavation along the east and
south walls, and up to four courses of stone. The chapel was a ruin in c.1600
and has been damaged by the insertion of more recent graves. The chapel was
partly excavated in 1968 and this revealed that its remains do not overlie any
earlier church or chapel structure.
Excavation also revealed that part of the graveyard overlies the remains of an
Iron Age settlement which covers a wider area on the summit of Beacon Hill. At
least one large hut was uncovered and a quantity of pottery and a quern were
found. The excavation confirmed the presence of other hut circles and
enclosures to the west of the cemetery boundary.
In the centre and west side of the burial ground are the excavated remains of
an early Christian shrine which had associated graves. It was from here
that the earliest graves and four memorial stones originate. These were
discovered on the site at various times and date back to the fifth-seventh
centuries, AD.
Subsequent burials are of medieval and post-medieval date. The graves include
those of the families of the owners of the island in the 19th and 20th
centuries. The slabs which covered some of the early graves can still be seen
in the void left by the excavation. The four early stone memorials have been
placed against the bank on the south west side of the enclosure.
The Trinity House walls on the northern and eastern sides of the cemetery are
not included in the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Lundy is a small, steep sided island in the Bristol Channel, 16m north of
Hartland Point, north Devon. Aligned north-south, it is 6km long by 1km wide
and supports a predominately moorland vegetation. The 100m high cliffs and
tabular form give it a striking appearance, visible in clear weather from
parts of south west England and south Wales.
Lundy's remoteness and (until the 19th century construction of the Beach Road)
its inaccessibility, combined with a lack of shelter and cultivable soils, has
meant that it has escaped more recent occupation or development. It therefore
preserves a remarkable variety of archaeological sites from early prehistory
(c.8000 BC) onwards, representing evidence for habitation, fortification,
farming and industry. There are also archaeological remains in the waters
surrounding the island - over 150 shipwrecks are already recorded. Most of the
island's archaeology is well documented from detailed survey in the 1980s and

From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597
monasticism formed an important facet of both religious and secular life in
the British Isles. Early monasteries were built to house communities of monks
of nuns; sometimes houses were `mixed' and included both sexes. The main
buildings provided facilities for worship, accommodation and subsistence.
They included a series of timber halls and perhaps a stone church, all located
within some form of enclosure. Those sites which have been excavated indicate
that no standard layout of buildings was in use. Rather a great diversity in
building form, construction, arrangement and function is evident. Preconquest
monastic sites are rare nationally and fewer than 100 sites have been
recognised from documentary sources. The locations of less than half of these
have been confirmed. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of
the introduction of Christianity into the country. All examples exhibiting
survival of archaeological remains will be identified as nationally important.
This enclosure, together with remains of an early medieval memorial shrine and
associated graves and the memorial stone of sub-Roman Christians, is a
remarkable survival, part excavation demonstrating the quality of surviving
remains. Much of the graveyard is unexcavated and here the remains of the
early church and monastic buildings as well as further evidence of early
Christian burial practices and religious observance, are likely to survive.
In addition, the remains of a part excavated Iron Age hut circle show that
much of the settlement site, both within and beyond the enclosure, is
preserved with many features intact. The ground below and around these
features will yield evidence of the environment at the time the settlement was
in occupation as well as the subsequent occupation of the site in the early
medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Thomas, C, And Shall These Mute Stones Speak?, (1994), 163-182
Thomas, C, And Shall These Mute Stones Speak?, (1994), 163-82
Thomas, C, And Shall These Mute Stones Speak?, (1994), 163-82
Thomas, C, 'Lundy Field Society Annual Report' in Lundy Field Society , (1968)
Thomas, C, 'Lundy Field Society Annual Report' in Lundy Field Society , (1968)
Thackray C, National Trust SMR, (1989)
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)
Thackray, C, The National Trust Archaeological Survey, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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