Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric long barrow and four round barrows 580m and 750m south west of Mitchell Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Erme, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3481 / 50°20'52"N

Longitude: -5.0191 / 5°1'8"W

OS Eastings: 185305.8912

OS Northings: 54151.2932

OS Grid: SW853541

Mapcode National: GBR ZH.24T4

Mapcode Global: FRA 08C3.Y6X

Entry Name: Prehistoric long barrow and four round barrows 580m and 750m south west of Mitchell Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017350

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32907

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Erme

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Newlyn

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a long barrow and four round barrows within two areas of
protection, situated high on the west shoulder of a ridge east of Carland
Cross, together forming the western part of a prehistoric ridge top barrow
cemetery, and bisected by a modern field boundary. The four round barrows are
aligned WSW-ENE over 210m; the three eastern barrows in this alignment are
closely spaced, while the fourth is about 150m to their WSW.
The long barrow, situated north west of the western round barrow, has a long
mound orientated north east-south west with a slightly irregular tapered ovoid
plan, broader at the north east end, and measuring approximately 22m long and
13m across, and 0.4m high.
Of the four aligned round barrows, the westernmost has a low mound measuring
approximately 15m in diameter and 0.2m high. To the ENE is the closely spaced
group of three barrows in the alignment, the western barrow in this group
having a low mound, approximately 16m in diameter and 0.3m high. The central
barrow and the easternmost have similar low mounds approximately 15m in
diameter and 0.2m high.

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

Long barrows are earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches of the Early
and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). The communal burial places of
Britain's early farming communities, they are amongst the oldest field
monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. There may be several
phases of funerary monument preceding the barrows, which were probably
important ritual sites for local communities over a long period of time.
Round barrows date mostly to the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
(c.2400-1500 BC). They are earthen mounds, sometimes ditched, covering single
or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped in cemeteries.
They often acted as a focus of burials in later periods, and are occasionally
associated with earlier long barrows. Often superficially similar, though
differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a
diversity of burial practices within their overall distribution. Round barrows
occur across most of Britain. Both long barrows and round barrows are
long lived monument types and often occupy prominent positions in the
landscape. Long barrows are comparatively rare, with some 500 recorded
nationally, and are of considerable age, being one of the few types of
surviving Neolithic earthworks. Over 10,000 surviving round barrows are
recorded nationally, and their diversity provides important information on the
variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric
The long barrow and four round barrows 580m and 750m south west of Mitchell
Farm survive reasonably well. Despite being reduced by ploughing, the low
mounds with discernible plans remain, as will the underlying old land surface
and any surviving original deposits in the base of the mounds. The location of
the round barrows in a wider ridge top cemetery, the close association of the
long barrow with the later round barrows, and the alignment of the round
barrows, illustrate well the important roles of topography and of continuity
in prehistoric funerary activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments, (1982), 48
Megaw, JVS, Simpson, DDA, Introduction to British Prehistory, (1981), 89
Henderson, C, 'Parochial Antiquities' in Parochial Antiquities, , Vol. 3, (1916), 210
Herring, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A Long-Cairn on Catshole Tor, Altarnun, , Vol. 22, (1983), 81-83
Mercer, R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in The Neolithic in Cornwall, , Vol. 25, (1986), 55-57
Prior, R, 'Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, (1898), 435-436
Prior, R, 'Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, (1898)
Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1970)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1879

Title: Ordnance Survey 2" field drawing
Source Date: 1811

Source: Historic England

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