Brane - Entrance Grave

Brane - Scillonian Entrance Grave

Brane Entrance Grave
Brane Entrance Grave

Once described as 'the most perfect of its kind in the West of England' by the historian Borlase, this entrance grave is a petite and well-preserved example of a barrow only found on the westernmost Cornish tip and on Scilly. Located in a field beside a farm of the same name near Sancreed, initially one might take it for a diminutive stone hut until the size of its integral stones betrays its megalithic origins. Amazingly, its preservation owes much to its hut-like quality insofar as farmers chose not to dismantle it because it offered decent shelter to livestock.

It is housed in a rounded cairn of approximately 5m in diameter retained by large kerb stones, a gap in this outer ring leading to its inner chamber which penetrates the mound past its central point – a trait typical of Penwith barrows. The chamber is constructed purely of large lateral and capping slabs, with some use of packing stone in gaps, which differs from the dry stone walling found in other entrance graves of the time. The entrance is roughly aligned to the rising of the midwinter sun, as is one of the chambers at nearby Carn Euny.

Brane Barrow
Brane Barrow

In the late C20th extensive restoration was required when livestock eroded the mound following the removal of some kerb stones. It is uncertain what exactly was done during this restoration, but it has remained very similar to Borlase’s 19th century descriptions and drawings, if a little less rotund.