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Barrow and statue menhir, St. Martins

Introduction

In 1948, the Reverand HA Lewis discovered and reported the head of a menhir broken off from its original base near an alleged stone row. Lewis then set the menhir up on a nearby cairn. Over time the menhir was again lost, but was rediscovered in 1988.

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The cairn and the menhir are on the eastern headland of St. Martin's overlooking the island of Nornour.

 

 

The statue menhir and barrow lie on the eastern side of the island of St. Martin's on the Isles of Scilly. It can be accessed from a short detour from the a coastal footpath that follows the coastline of the island.

The site is free to visit and open any reasonable time in daylight hours.

There are refreshment and public toilet facilities across the island.

There are no public transport links directly/close to the site. There are regular boats to the island of St. Martins from the island of St. Mary's.

 

 

 

View our interactive Access to Monuments map to find this and other nearby sites.

The Bronze Age cairn, known as 'Cairn A' is currently a heather covered mound built of earth and boulder containing a destroyed cist. It is 10m in diameter  and 1.3m high and has three perimeter boulders, but no distinct kerb. A depression in the centre of the mound, 4m x1.7m and aligned SSW-NNE is a possible ruined chamber. It has a large slab on the NNW side.

It is on Cairn A that Lewis set the rediscovered menhir. Inspection of the stone in 1988 revealed that it is a roughly-hewn statue carved from granite comprising the head and shoulders of a humanoid figure. The face is roughly worked, the nose and eye sockets being distinguishable.

The menhir's width is 0.43m and it's depth is 0.30m. It has a current height of 0.65m, although it is believed that it formed the top of a larger menhir and was at some point in time broken off. This type of larger menhir is called a 'statue menhir' and is also found in Brittany and the Channel Islands and possibly dates between the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

There is a display about the menhir and other aspects of Scillonian archaeology in the Isles of Scilly Museum on St. Mary's.