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MONUMENT NO. 428343

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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.

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