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Bronze Age 2500 to 800 BC
Ballowall Barrow is a strange and possibly unique example of a prehistoric funerary cairn which incorporates multiple phases of use and funerary practice spanning the Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age periods. Sited on Ballowall Common overlooking the rugged granite cliffs to the south of Cape Cornwall, it faces west towards the Scillies.

During the Bronze Age the dead were normally cremated and the remains placed in a pottery vessel (funerary urn) which was set into the ground beneath a circular mound.

Cairn means simply a ‘stony mound’, and they are the upland equivalent of the earth and stone round barrows of the lowland zone. Cairns may incorporate a variety of ‘architectural’ features such as cists and kerbs, and excavation shows that they often went through a series of developments to reach the final phase visible today.

Usually found in prominent locations on hilltops and ridges they are often incorporated into wider landscapes and monument  alignments.

supported by HLF and compiled by the Historic Environment Service of Cornwall County Council  
last updated: 05/09/2007