New Cist Grave Found On St Martin’s Farm

st martins cist graveA St Martin’s farmer has discovered that the islands can still throw up some surprises after finding a cist grave in one of her fields.

Zoe Julian says they came across the hole, about the size of two dinner plates, on the edge of a turnip field at Church Town farm.

At first they thought it was an animal burrow, although they quickly realised there wasn’t anything on Scilly that could make a hole that big.

Zoe says local archaeologist Katharine Sawyer was brought in and told them they’d found a previously unrecorded cist grave.

These are small, stone-lined coffins built to hold bones.

Yesterday, a team of three archaeologists from Cornwall started to excavate the site.

Zoe says they’ll take about a week to fully explore the area and will then back fill it to prevent any damage in the future.

Valuable artefacts have been found in some cist graves in the past in Scilly, most notably a sword and mirror on Bryher.

However, Zoe isn’t holding out much luck. She says she’d probably have heard by now if there was anything valuable in there.