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Ancient Sites on the Isles of Scilly

Innisidgen Lower Chamber, St. Mary's

Prior to the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago. when the sea level was so much lower, the Isles of Scilly were one large island. This island formerly called 'Ennor' would have been settled from nearby Cornwall with the early inhabitants bringing their culture and beliefs with them. Written accounts by the Romans also indicate that they visited the single island of Sullia and other historical data suggest that the main islands did not become separated until as late as 400 or 500 AD. The ancient sites would then obviously all be easily accessible for worship, burial or solstice ritual. The main sites are listed below with further information available in the excellent guide book The Modern Antiquarian by Julian Cope.

Innisidgen Lower Chamber, St. Mary's

Innisidgen OS Explorer 101 Grid Ref. SV922127 - Actually two chambered tombs on Helvear Down on the Northeast coast of St. Mary's overlooking Crow Sound, the channel to St. Martin's and the Eastern Isles. The Lower Innisidgen tomb leaves a lot to the imagination in its poor state of repair but the Upper Innisidgen tomb was restored by English Heritage in the 1970's and now offers an excellent example of an Early Bronze Age Chamber Tomb. The visitor should also try to visit Bant's Carn and the Iron Age village on Halangy Down about 30 minutes walk away to the west.

Innisidgen Upper Chamber, St Mary's Inside Innisidgen Upper Chamber, St. Mary's

Bant's Carn - OS Explorer 101 Grid Ref. SV910123 - This excellently preserved Late Stone Age or Early Bronze Age Chamber Tomb dates from about 2500 to 4500 BC and lies on Halangy Down at the Northwestern end of St. Mary's. It overlooks Toll's Porth and the channel to Tresco and Samson. In the stewardship of English Heritage.

Bants Carn, St. Mary's Inside Bants Carn, St. Mary's

Halangy Down Village OS Explorer 101 Grid Ref. SV911126 - ThisIron Age settlement dates from about 200BC and consists of one large courtyard house and several round houses. It lies on the sloping hillside directly below the far older Bant's Carn on Halangy Down on the Northwest coast of St. Mary's.

Halangy Down Village

The Giant's Tomb (Porth Hellick) OS Explorer 101 Grid Ref. SV929108 - This excellently preserved Early Bronze Age Chamber Tomb lies on Porth Hellick Down on the eastern side of St. Mary's. There are several other smaller and far less obvious tombs here making this what would have been quite an important site on the ancient isle of Ennor.

More Photographs...

The Giant's Tomb on Porth Hellick Down, St. Mary's Inside The Giant's Tomb on Porth Hellick Down, St. Mary's
The Modern Antiquarian.com

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