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Innisidgen Burial Chambers

OS grid reference :- SV 921 127

Innisidgen Hill to the north east of Hugh Town on the Island of St. Mary's is the location of two chambered tombs or entrance graves dating from the Bronze Age which were excavated in 1854. The burial chambers overlook the Crow sound with views towards the Eastern Isles.

Entrance graves are sometimes referred to as Scillonian tombs due to their concentration on the Isles of Scilly although a few survive on the Penwith peninsula of west Cornwall

Upper Burial Chamber

Innisgiden Burial Chambers The substantial upper Innisidgen burial chamber, also known as Innisidgen Carn or The Giant's Grave, is one of the best preserved entrance graves on the Scilly Isles.

A passage on the eastern side leads to the entrance, which is topped by a huge slab. Four other capstones compose the roof. The well preserved chamber is rectangular bin shape and is 15 feet (4.5 metres) long and around 5 feet (1.5 metres) high.

The mound measures 30 feet (9 metres) by 26 feet (8 metres), and stands about 6 feet (2 metres) in height. It would possibly have been entered through a long passage that has not survived to the present. The surrounding kerb rises to nearly 3 feet (1 metres) high its north side.

There are traces of an outer platform, up to 6 feet (2 metres) wide, around the mound.

Lower Burial Chamber

Lower Innisgidgen entrance grave lies around 300 feet (90 metres) to the north-west. The circular mound is more damaged and retains only two of its capstones, the largest of which is 2 metres long and 1 metre wide.

Parts of the kerb of the mound survive, while the mound itself incorporates outcrops of rock. Inside is a stone lined central chamber, the entrance to the chamber is on the south side.

A prehistoric field system survives on the northern slope of the hill adjoining the entrance graves, visible as earth and rubble banks.

The monuments are now in the care of English Heritage, the burial chambers are located 1 3/4 miles to the north-east of Hugh Town, parking is available.

Prehistoric Sites