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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 428343

Hob Uid: 428343
Location :
Cornwall
Cornwall
St. Agnes
Grid Ref : SW7091050570
Summary : A mound or cairn on St Agnes Beacon which has been interpreted as a Bronze Age bowl barrow later used as the site of a fire beacon and, in the late 18th century, providing the platform for a prospect tower. The barrow mound, which is about 3.8 metres in height and 30 metres in diameter, was a significant feature in the landscape and stood at the end of a line of three cairns which were visible in the period 1710-20. The shape, raised position and favourable location of the mound, with its all round visibility, led to it being chosen for the site of a fire beacon. The beacon may have been set up in response to the threat of the Spanish Armada in the 1580s, although the first known record of the beacon dates from the early 1700s. The reason for the location of the beacon on the mound were also the reasons which led it to being selected for the site of a prospect tower in the late 18th century. This is considered to have caused the barrow to have a flat squarish top. The tower stood on the mound until at least 1819 when it was in a partly ruinous state and its presence must have dictated the re-siting of the beacon during the Napoleonic Wars, most probably to one of the two other nearby cairn mounds, both of which were subsequently largely destroyed. By 1846 the tower has ceased to appear on maps. The outer matrix of the mound, which is known to comprise of stones ranging from 10cms-35cms in length, is believed to represent the debris of the collapsed tower which has encased the underlying Bronze Age deposits and which has resulted in the roughly square-shaped appearance of the mound. Scheduled.
More information : ('A' SW 70915057) Tumulus (NR).
('B' SW 70995034) Tumulus (NR).
('C' SW 71005021) Tumulus (NR). (1)

('C') "Flat-top, stone paved, blackened by fire. Site of Beacon -
also grass grown tumulus (c.10 ft. high, no ditch)". (2)

Remains of three cairns on St. Agnes Beacon. (3-4)

'A' The gutted remains of a cairn.
'B' SW 70995033 An elongated amorphous mound of stone.
'C' A flat topped 2.8m high cairn.

There is another cairn at 'D' SW 71025027. It is 1.0m. high,
mutilated but still readily identifiable. It was shown on OS 25"
1906. Published 1:2500 surveys revised.
There are several strong mounds on St Agnes Beacon any or all
of which could be sepulchral. They could also however be merely
field clearance or the rusult of extensive quarrying and mining
operations; it is impossible to be certain which simply from
visual inspection. (5)

(SW 70915057) Cairn (NR).
(SW 70995034) Cairn (NR).
(SW 71025027); SW 71015021) Cairns (NR). (6)

The southernmost cairn has been recommended for scheduling, but normal planning controls should apply to the other two barrows. (7-9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1963
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Source Number : 2
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Rec 6" (O G S Crawford 12.2.35)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Cornish archaeology
Source details : R Warner
Page(s) : 113-4
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Vol(s) : 1, 1962
Source Number : 3a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Henderson MSS notebook 3 181 186
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Tonkin. 1867. Lakes Parochial History, 5
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ANK 22-APR-71
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Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10 000 1973
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Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 12-Jul-99
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Source Number : 9
Source : Monuments Protection Programme: Report of site considered under MPP for which Scheduling is not recommended
Source details : JP Salvatore, MPPA, 02-Oct-1998
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Source : SW 75 SW 4 (1971)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Bowl Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Recorded early 1700s:could date to 1580s
Monument End Date : 1732
Monument Start Date : 1580
Monument Type : Beacon
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built late C18
Monument End Date : 1799
Monument Start Date : 1767
Monument Type : Prospect Tower
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 29667
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cornwall)
External Cross Reference Number : 19404
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SW 75 SW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1447251
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SW 75 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-04-22
End Date : 1971-04-22