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Megaliths, Mênhirs and Stone Circles of Isles of Scilly

Bant's Carn

Bronze Age Cairn, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV90981266

Map

Map showing Bant's Carn

Bant's Carn, St. Mary's

Bant's Carn entrance grave lies on the northwestern coast of the Scillonian Island of St. Mary's. Thought to date from the Bronze Age it lies just above the Halangy Downs Iron Age village making visiting both sites a possibility. About 7.5 metres in diameter, its entrance passage is about 5 metres long and is aligned to face the sunrise at the midsummer solstice. It is also aligned to the Long Rock standing stone on Macfarland Downs. Currently in the stewardship of English heritage its plaque reads 'This cairn was the ancestral shrine of a small farming community. At the time when it was built (2000-1500 BC), the Isles of Scilly were all one large island [Ennor] and the settlement overlooked a wide shallow valley to the north. Over-exploitation of the land led to the settlement being abandoned, and the fields became choked with blown sand.'

Burnt Hill Roundhouses

Iron Age Settlement, St. Martins

Grid reference SV936160

Map

Map showing Burnt Hill Roundhouses

Burnt Hill settlement of roundhouses lies on the north coast of the Scillonian island of St. Martin's. The two low lying houses date from the Iron Age.

Buzza Hill Cairn

Neolithic Cairn, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV906104

Map

Map showing Buzza Hill Cairn

Sitting on top of Buzza Hill above St. Mary's Isles of Scilly, this Chambered Entrance Grave dates from the Neolithic. The cairn was one of a pair on this site, but the building of the Buzza Tower sadly obliterated its partner. The cairn, about 7 metres in diameter has an inner chamber 5.5 metres long but no visible entrance. Only one of the original capstones remains in situ.

Castle Down Cemetery

Bronze Age Cemetery, Tresco

Grid reference SV886160

Map

Map showing Castle Down Cemetery

Castle Down on the north of Tresco, Isles of Scilly is an area of rough moorland and stony outcrops. Located here are no fewer than 78 cairns. The majority simply appear as lowish mounds but some retain parts of their original kerbing and structure. Traces of field boundaries complete this ancient landscape.

Chapel Down Cairn

Bronze Age Cairn, St. Martins

Grid reference SV942158

Map

Map showing Chapel Down Cairn

Chapel Down Cairn lies on the northeast coast of the Scillonian Island of St. Martin's. The site contains a prehistoric field system, a number of Bronze Age cairns, an entrance grave (chambered cairn) and a 0.6 metre high statue menhir. Close by lies remnants of a chapel dating from the 8th-10th century. The three foot stone "idol" was discovered early in the last century, lost and found again in 1989 when the bracken caught fire. Seems to be the top half of a statue-menhir similar to those found in Brittany and the Channel Islands.

Chapel Down Statue Mênhir

Iron Age Menhir, St. Martins

Grid reference SV94251595

Map

Map showing Chapel Down Statue Mênhir

Chapel Down Statue Mênhir lies on the northeastern coast of the Scillonian island of St. Martin's. Less than a metre tall, this stone 'idol' is believed to have been broken off from a larger standing stone. It was discovered early in the last century, lost and then found again in 1989 when the covering bracken caught fire. Possibly Iron Age.

Clapper of Works Cairn

Neolithic Cairn, Gugh

Grid reference SV890079

Map

Map showing Clapper of Works Cairn

Clapper of Works Chambered Cairn lies about 500 meters to the south of The Old Man of Gugh and Obadiah's Barrow. A Scillonian entrance grave, it dates from the Neolithic Age. Four capstones still remain, with the chamber apparently extending the whole 9 metre diameter of the mound. Records state that there are also two round cairns here but thay are not easily distinguished. The whole of the south end of Gugh has about 20 cairns and 2 entrance graves, the other being the Carn of Works.

Cruther's Hill Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, St. Martins

Grid reference SV930152

Map

Map showing Cruther's Hill Cairns

Cruther's Hill Barrow Cemetery lies near the southern coast of St. Martin's in the Isles of Scilly. The hill has three summits, with a cairn on each, aligned northwest-southeast. The northwestern barrow is the largest with a diameter of 12 metres, the central cairn has a diameter of 8 metres whilst the two conjoined cairns of the southeastern summit have diameters between 4.5 metres and 6 metres. They date from the Neolithic or wearly Bronze Age.

Giant's Castle, Porth Hellick

Iron Age Cliff Castle, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV925101

Map

Map showing Giant's Castle, Porth Hellick

The Giant's Castle, at Porth Hellick lies to the east of St. Mary's airport on the southeast of the island. The headland is protected by no less than four lines of defence, the outer rampart 1 metre high, the next rampart stands 1.2 metres high whilst the third stands 1.6 metres high. The inner rampart makes full use of the terrain and has a rampart 2 metres high. Artifacts found at the site date Giant's Castle to about 300 BC - the middle of the Iron Age.

Great Arthur Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Great Arthur

Grid reference SV942135

Map

Map showing Great Arthur Cairns

Great Arthur Cairns lie on the Scillonian island of Great Arthur, part of the Eastern Isles. Situated on the top of the hill lie three entrance graves and two cairns. The entrance grave is situated on the highest point. The 7.3 metre diameter cairn has a chamber 3.6 metres long. Three of the original capstones still remain.

Great Hill Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Tean

Grid reference SV909166

Map

Map showing Great Hill Cairns

Situated on Great Hill at the northern end of the Scillonian island of Tean lies a Neolithic Chambered cairn measuring 7.6 metres in diameter. Its chamber, 3.3 metres long has none of its capstones remaining. Nearby lies another Chambered Cairn, 6.7 metres in diameter.

Gweal Hill Cairns

Bronze Age Cairn, Bryher

Grid reference SV871149

Map

Map showing Gweal Hill Cairns

Gweal Hill Cairns lie on the Scillonian island of Bryher, just to the west of the Hell Bay Hotel. The cairns, probably dating from the Bronze Age are in a poor state of preservation and are indistinct on the ground. Nearby lies a ruined entrance grave.

Halangy Down Village

Iron Age Settlement, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV910124

Map

Map showing Halangy Down Village

Halangy Down Village, St. Mary's

lies on the northwestern coast of the Scillonian Island of St. Mary's. Thought to date from the Iron Age, Halangy Down Village lies just below the Bronze Age Bant's Carn making visiting both sites a possibility. In a picturesque position overlooking the sea, this settlement resembles the mainland village at Chysauster, near Penzance. Thought to overlay an earlier Bronze Age settlement, there is one courtyard house and other interconnected oval houses with a probable occupation period of 500 years.

Innisidgen Upper Cairn

Bronze Age Cairn, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV921128

Map

Map showing Innisidgen Upper Cairn

Innisidgen Upper Cairn, St. Mary's

The are two Entrance Graves at Innisidgen overlooking Crow Sound on the northeast coast of St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly. Dating from the Bronze Age, the upper cairn is in a good state of preservation. It has an overall diameter of 8 metres with a chamber 5.5 metres long. Five capstones cover the chamber which is aligned towards the southeast, winter solstice sunrise.

Kittern Hill

Neolithic Cairn, Gugh

Grid reference SV888087

Map

Map showing Kittern Hill

Kittern Hill on Gugh has the remains of three Neolithic chambered cairns. Not in the best state of preservation, they are still worth a visit if in the area.

Knackyboy Cairn

Bronze Age Cairn, St. Martins

Grid reference SV923158

Map

Map showing Knackyboy Cairn

Knackyboy Chambered Cairn lies near the southern coast of the Scillonian Island of St. Martin's. Situated just to the south of Middle Town, the cairn is in a poor state of preservation. Measuring over 15 metres in diameter, the cairn was first excavated in 1912 when over 200 kg of pottery including Bronze Age urns was discovered.

Long Rock Mênhir

Bronze Age Menhir, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV914124

Map

Map showing Long Rock Mênhir

Situated on Macfarland Downs, at the northern end of St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly, the Long Rock Menhir or standing stone is not immediately apparent. It lies in woodland to the east of Bant's Carn and stands 2.5 metres tall. It has been dated to the Bronze Age.

Lower Innisidgen

Bronze Age Cairn, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV922127

Map

Map showing Lower Innisidgen

Lower Innisidgen, St. Mary's

The are two Entrance Graves at Innisidgen overlooking Crow Sound on the northeast coast of St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly. The lower chamber is in a poor state of preservation. It has an oval mound of about 8 metres in diameter with just two of the original capstones remaining. The chamber is aligned facing south.

Menawethan

Neolithic Cairn, Menawethan

Grid reference SV95531366

Map

Map showing Menawethan

A cairn lies on this tiny island, on the south east of the Eastern Isles, at Grid Reference SV9553 1366.

Middle Arthur Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Middle Arthur

Grid reference SV939138

Map

Map showing Middle Arthur Cairns

There are two entrance graves situated on the top of the hill. Quite well preserved, the northern site consists of a cairn 6.1 metres in diameter, with its chamber 4 metres in length and one metre in width. It is aligned to the southeast, to face the winter solstice sunrise.

Fifteen metres to the south lies another cairn some 3.2 metres in diameter with a chamber 2.4 metres long and 1.2 metre wide. This site was excavated in 1953 and a female skeleton was unearthed along with some pottery.

Mount Flagon Mênhir

Bronze Age Menhir, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV90931093

Map

Map showing Mount Flagon Mênhir

Mount Flagon Mênhir or standing stone lies beside an X-shaped shipping daymark adjacent to the Tudor fortifications known as Harry's Walls above Porthmellon beach at St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly. The 2.8 metre stone is thought to have previously had a cairn surrounding it.

Nornour Roundhouses

Bronze Age Settlement, Nornour

Grid reference SV944148

Map

Map showing Nornour Roundhouses

The Scillonian island of Nornour, lies at the northern extremity of the Eastern Isles, just to the south of St. Martin's. A settlement of roundhouses was discovered here in the 1960's and is believed to date from the middle of the Bronze Age. The site was excavated between 1968 and 1970, unearthing over 250 brooches, Roman coins, glass beads, bronze bracelets and rings amongst the 11 houses. The finds indicating a prolonged period of occupation.

North Hill Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Samson

Grid reference SV877131

Map

Map showing North Hill Cairns

There are seven cairns and nine Entrance Graves on North Hill on the northern end of the Scillonian island of Samson to the west of St. Mary's. The best preserved is an Entrance Grave, first excavated in 1930. It has a diameter of 8 metres and is 4.5 metrs in length. Its entrance faces due east the direction of the equinox sunrise.

Northwethel Entrance Grave

Neolithic Entrance Grave, Northwethel

Grid reference SV89601628

Map

Map showing Northwethel Entrance Grave

Northwethel Entrance Grave lies on a hill on the southeast end of the Scillonian island of Northwethel. It has a diameter of 5.5 metres with a chamber 3 metres by 1.4 metres wide. Its entrance faces due east, the spring equinox sunrise.

Obadiah's Barrow

Neolithic Cairn, Gugh

Grid reference SV888085

Map

Map showing Obadiah's Barrow

Obadiah's Barrow is better described as a chambered cairn or entrance grave. It lies on the southwestern side of Kittern Hill on the Scillonian island of Gugh. The barrow has a diameter of 7.3 metres with a passage measuring 4.9 metres by 1.5 metres. The barrow formerly had six capstones but two have sadly fallen into the chamber. Its entrance is aligned to the southeast, where the midwinter solstice sun rises. Excavations carried out in 1901 unearthed parts of a male skeleton as well as cremated ashes and 12 inverted urns. The barrow dates from the Neolithic Age and is named after local farmer Obadiah Hicks.

Old Man of Gugh

Bronze Age Menhir, Gugh

Grid reference SV891085

Map

Map showing Old Man of Gugh

The Old Man of Gugh is a Bronze Age standing stone situated about 300 metres east of Obadiah's Barrow on Gugh. The longstone or menhir stands 2.4 metres tall and leans to the northeast. The area below the stone was excavated in 1900 but nohing was found.

Porth Hellick Down Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, St. Mary's

Grid reference SV928108

Map

Map showing Porth Hellick Down Cairns

A group of eight cairns situated on Porth Hellick Downs on the east coast of St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly. The largest and best preserved of them is the 'Great Tomb', 12 metres in diameter with a 3.7 metre passage. The chamber is covered with four capstones. Its entrance is aligned to the Long Rock Menhir on Macfarland Downs. it has been dated to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period.

Samson Hill Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Bryher

Grid reference SV878142

Map

Map showing Samson Hill Cairns

Situated atop Samson Hill on Bryher, a ruined chamber cairn lies surrounded by ten kerb stones. Nearby, on the southern slopes of the Hill lies Works Carn. An oval shaped chambered cairn built out from the side of Samson Hill. Utilising the rock outcrop, it is revetted with large orthostats. The chamber is made from slabs set on edge with additional walling.

Shipman Head Cliff Castle

Iron Age Cliff Castle, Bryher

Grid reference SV876161

Map

Map showing Shipman Head Cliff Castle

Shipman Head lies on the nortern end of the Scillonian island of Bryher. Quite dramatic in its own right, the headland is made more interesting by the existence of the ramparts of an Iron Age Cliff Castle. The wall just under a metre high is in the region of 5 metres thick. To the south and east of the castle lie a large number of ancient cairns.

South Hill Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Samson

Grid reference SV878124

Map

Map showing South Hill Cairns

South Hill Cairns lie on the southern end of the Scillonian island of Samson to the west of St. Mary's. The are four Entrance Graves situated on the ridge of the hill. They are aligned north-south. The northernmost cairn has a diameter of almost 6 metres with a chamber measuring 3.5 metres long by 1 metre wide. Its entrance like that of its neighbours faces SSE.

St. Warna's Well

Iron Age Well, St. Agnes

Grid reference SV881078

Map

Map showing St. Warna's Well

St. Warna's Well lies on the west coast of the Scillonian Island of St. Agnes. Dating from celtic times the well was later 'christianized'. It is approached by three steps leading down into its stone chamber and is located on rocks above St. Warna's Cove. Incidentally, St. Warna is the patron saint of shipwrecks.

The Roman Altar

Roman Altar Stone, Tresco

Grid reference SV893143

Map

Map showing The Roman Altar

The Roman Altar stands within Tresco Abbey Gardens on the Scillonan island of Tresco. It is reputed to have been originally found at the site of the Pilots Gig Cafe on St. Marys. The altar stands 0.8 metres high and is 0.5 metres square. It is the only altar stone of its type in Cornwall.

Tregarthen Hill Cairns

Neolithic Cairn, Tresco

Grid reference SV886162

Map

Map showing Tregarthen Hill Cairns

A little to the north of Castle Down on the southern slope of Tregarthen Hill, on the north of Tresco, Isles of Scilly lie five chambered cairns or Entrance Graves, aligned NE-SW. The best preserved lies at SV88641626. This Entrance Grave has a diameter of about 7.3 metres with a chamber 4.6 metres long. It retains two of its original capstones and its inner kerb of 11 stones.

White Island Cairn

Neolithic Cairn, White Island

Grid reference SV922176

Map

Map showing White Island Cairn

White Island Chambered Cairn lies on the Scillonian island of White Island, just off the northern coast of St. Martin's. In a good state of preservation, the cairm has a diameter of over 6 metres. Its chamber is almost 5 metres long and is aligned SSE to NNW. Two of its original capstones remain. Nearby, to the southeast, lie a number of smaller cairns. Access is by foot from St Martins for just one hour either side of low tide. Please be aware of the state of the tide.

Wingletang Down

Bronze Age Cairn, St. Agnes

Grid reference SV883075

Map

Map showing Wingletang Down

Wingletang Down is described as a cairn cemetery. Over 40 simple cairns lie on the moorland on the southern end of the Scillonian island of St. Agnes. In various states of preservation, they resemble low circular mounds and are thought to date from the Bronze Age.

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