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Obadiah's Barrow

OS grid reference :- SV 887 085

Obadiah's Barrow or Obadiah's Grave as it is sometimes referred to, is situated in an isolated location on lies on the southwestern side of Kittern Hill on the island of Gugh. It is one of around eighty burial chambers on the Isles of Scilly.

There is evidence of extensive settlement on the Isles of Scilly from around 2500 BC. At that time the sea level was lower and much of the Scilly Islands formed a single landmass.

Dating from the Neolithic era, Obadiah's Barrow is around 4,000 years old and is named after local farmer Obadiah Hicks. The chambered cairn or entrance grave measures 7 metres in diameter and stands 0.6 metres high. The internal chamber is 3.2 metres by 1.4 metres by 1.1 metres. The barrow is in a quite ruinous condition, two of the capstones have collapsed although four of the original six still remain in place. In common with the Porth Hellick D Burial Chamber, Obadiah's Barrow has a short passage leading to the chamber entrance, a constricted jab stone entrance and the entrance faces west.

The barrow was excavated in 1901 by the archaeologist George Bonsor who discovered a primary internment of a crouching male skeleton in the middle of the chamber and dozen secondary Bronze Age cremation urns which had placed there subsequentlty, only one of which was intact. Further urn fragments and burnt bones were found close to the entrance.

Kittern Hill has a total of five entrance graves, there is also a cluster of fourteen cairns which are linked by prehistoric field walls or banks but the relationship between the two has not been established.

Prehistoric Sites