Ancient Monuments

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Eight round barrows north of Scotland Corner, 980m south west of Pawton Gate Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breock, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4768 / 50°28'36"N

Longitude: -4.8942 / 4°53'38"W

OS Eastings: 194749.0052

OS Northings: 68110.0503

OS Grid: SW947681

Mapcode National: GBR ZQ.R1Q7

Mapcode Global: FRA 07MS.R49

Entry Name: Eight round barrows north of Scotland Corner, 980m south west of Pawton Gate Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 November 1958

Last Amended: 12 November 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021224

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32987

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breock

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Wenn

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes eight prehistoric round barrows, situated on level
or slightly sloping ground, on and around the western summit of a hill
north east of St Columb Major. The barrows are associated with others
beyond this scheduling, forming a distinct group within a wider barrow
cemetery. The scheduling is divided into eight separate areas of

The barrows are spaced fairly widely and evenly, though the distances
between them vary from about 50m to 350m. Three of the barrows form an
alignment running NNW-SSE over the highest part of the hill. All eight
command wide views, though not all are intervisible, and the group is
closely associated with the boundaries of three parishes.

Moving from west to east across the scheduling, the first barrow is oval
in plan, measuring 19m north-south by 16.9m east-west. It has a mound of
earth and stone approximately 0.5m high overall, with no evidence for a
surrounding quarry ditch. In profile, the mound has a slightly concave top
about 12.7m across, with a curving skirt beneath this, merging with it on
the east. The second barrow, on the south west in the scheduling, is of
platform type, having a relatively low, flat topped earth mound. The mound
is approximately 18m in diameter, and generally around 0.5m in height
although on the south east, where it projects above a slight natural
gradient, it is up to 0.7m high. It has curving sides, and an uneven upper
surface with a hollow towards its south east, indicating limited
disturbance. There is no sign of an external ditch. The third barrow from
the west is sub-circular in plan. Its mound measures 28m north east-south
west by 30m north west-south east, and is 0.9m high overall. There is no
trace of a ditch around it. The mound contains earth, and local slate and
quartz rubble. It has a broad top, platform-like but concave, the centre
being some 0.4m below the rim, and sloping sides. Around the western edge
is a bank approximately 3m wide and 0.2m high, possibly the result of
relatively recent disturbance.

East of this is the barrow on the north of the scheduling, also the
northernmost of the three aligned barrows. It has an oval mound of earth
and stone and is thought to have been constructed in layers, clay type
material being visible above a darker layer. It has no external ditch. The
mound is oval, measuring approximately 24m across north-south by 21.5m
east-west, and 1.2m high. It has a flattish top, surrounded by a shelf in
the region of 1.4m wide and 0.2m-0.3m high, except on the east side where
its side curves down to ground level. On the top of the barrow, west of
the centre, are several modern piles of stones. A ditch along the north of
the mound is also thought to be the result of relatively recent

Further east is the barrow standing on the highest point of the hill, in
the middle of the scheduling, and in the centre of the alignment of three.
This barrow again has an oval mound with no external ditch apparent, made
of earth and stones including quartz and slate rubble. It measures 20.5m
east-west by 15.8m north-south and its overall height is around 1.7m.
The mound is stepped in profile, having a slightly hollow top some 10m
across and up to 0.9m high, encircled by a brim around 2m wide and 0.8m
high. It has been modified by erosion and by a pit around 4m across and
0.5m deep towards the east.

The next barrow is the third in the alignment, and the most southerly in
the scheduling. It has a sub-circular mound measuring 16.2m across
north-south by 15.5m east-west, and around 0.7m high, with no surrounding
ditch. The fabric of the barrow appears to include clay as well as quartz
and slate stones. The mound is of platform type, with fairly steep sides
and a slightly concave top. It has a modern deposit of stones towards its
east side, and a hollow north of its centre.

In the south east of the scheduling is a barrow thought to have been
reduced in modern times, visible as a mound of dark earth with quartz
rubble approximately 18m in diameter, irregular in profile but up to 0.4m

Lastly, the easternmost barrow in this group has an oval mound, measuring
28m east-west by 25.5m north-south, and 1.7m high; again, no external
ditch is known. The fabric of the mound includes clay, earth, and slate
and quartz stones. The mound has a rounded, bowl type profile. It has a
depression in its top, probably the result of an antiquarian excavation,
and a relatively recent hollow in its south side.

All modern fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it is included.

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, and reduction of one of the mounds, the
eight round barrows north of Scotland Corner, 980m south west of Pawton
Gate Farm 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 site provides examples of
the differing forms and spatial relationships of barrows. The prominent
hilltop location illustrates well the important role of topography in
prehistoric funerary activity, and the close association of the barrows
with parish boundaries shows one way in which monuments of this type
combined with the topography to affect the subsequent development of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Borlase, W C, Naenia Cornubiae, (1872), 243
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
MS at RIC library, Truro. Date approx, Henderson, C, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, Notebooks of Parochial Antiquities, (1917)
Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1972)
Saunders, AD, AM7, (1958)
SW 96 NE 3, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
SW 96 NW 37, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1977)
SW 96 NW 39, Quinnell, NV, Ordnance Survey Index Card, (1972)
Title: Cornwall Mapping Project
Source Date: 1995

Title: Ordnance Survey 1" Map
Source Date: 1810

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880
Date approx.
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1908
Date approx.
Title: St Columb Major Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1840

Title: St Issey Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1841

Title: St Wenn Tithe Apportionment
Source Date: 1841

Source: Historic England

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