Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Three round barrows on St Issey Beacon, Trelow Downs, 960m north east of Little Pennatillies

A Scheduled Monument in St. Columb Major, Cornwall

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: 50.4792 / 50°28'45"N

Longitude: -4.9283 / 4°55'41"W

OS Eastings: 192339.4677

OS Northings: 68471.5923

OS Grid: SW923684

Mapcode National: GBR ZN.2YJ5

Mapcode Global: FRA 07KS.HV8

Entry Name: Three round barrows on St Issey Beacon, Trelow Downs, 960m north east of Little Pennatillies

Scheduled Date: 5 October 1959

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021160

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32980

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Columb Major

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Issey

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The scheduling includes three round barrows situated on Trelow Downs, on
the hill called St Issey Beacon or High Barn, north of St Columb Major.
The barrows lie on the upper north west slopes of the rounded Beacon. They
are closely associated with others beyond this scheduling, forming an
outlying group within a hill and ridgetop barrow cemetery; and are also
associated with other prehistoric funerary and ritual monuments nearby.
Two of the barrows are fairly close together, while that to the north west
is more widely spaced. The scheduling comprises three separate areas of
The barrow on the west in the scheduling and in the wider cemetery, on the
north west shoulder of the hill, has a mound with a sub-circular plan and
a roughly rounded profile. It measures 10.1m north-south by 9.7m east-west
and around 1.3m high. The mound is built of earth and stone, including
white quartz rubble in the region of 0.1m-0.2m across. A trench some 4.4m
long, 1.2m wide, and 1m deep, extending from the east edge of the mound to
the centre, is considered to be the result of antiquarian exploration.
There is no evidence for a ditch surrounding the mound.
To the south east, on the crest of the hilltop, are the two closer set
barrows. Both have an oval earth and stone mound with a curving profile,
and no known external ditch; and each mound has an exploration trench up
to 2.5m wide and 0.7m deep running east-west across it. The western one of
these barrows measures 15.5m across north-south and 14.5m east-west, and
its height is approximately 1.1m. That on the east measures 13.3m
east-west by 12.2m north-south and is up to 1.2m 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

Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to
the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC.
They were constructed as earthen mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries and often acted as a focus of burials in later periods. Often
superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit
regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are
over 10,000 surviving examples recorded nationally (many more have already
been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area
where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl
or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the
diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite limited modification, the three round barrows on St Issey Beacon,
Trelow Downs, 960m north east of Little Pennatillies survive well. The
underlying old land surfaces, and remains of any structures or other
deposits associated with these and with the upstanding earthworks, will
also survive. The prominent hilltop location illustrates well the
important role of topography in prehistoric funerary activity.

Source: Historic England


MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
Saunders, AD, AM7, (1959)
SW 96 NW 28, Fletcher, MJ, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1972)
SW 96 NW 28, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project
Source Date: 1995

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880
Date approx.
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1908
Date approx.
Title: Ordnance Survey 2" drawing
Source Date: 1810

Title: St Issey Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1841

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.