After the hot flush of Innisidgen Lower, the glorious treats go on! This one's a turtle. Even better preserved than Bant's Carn and with a handy rock outcrop above to serve as a viewing platform.
Had a good crawl inside this one, managed to avoid any head injuries. As our time on the island was limited by the ferry timetable we cut inland from Watermill Cove, sadly missing out the cairns above Gap Point and Deep Point. Then through the island interior (alright, it's not the Congo) to Porth Hellick Down.
A glorious cairn with a long chamber - about 4 and half metres, with four great capstones. These are only just breaking through the top grassy covering of the cairn giving the appearance of exposed ribs.
Its kerbstones keep it from flopping, so it still looks pert and strong. Not only is the cairn itself heart-stoppingly perfect, it's location is breathtaking with views over turquoise seas facing east to St Martin's and the scatter of the Eastern Isles.
Higher Innisidgen Entrance Grave - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003
Given that just by getting to St.Mary's, and presumably having a map, you have shown a lot of initiative and commitment, I won't try to describe the minutiae of getting to sites on the island (but might just make a few comments). Most major sites are signposted, but I was disappointed (in general) at the poor signposting of paths, especially given that I have read others say that Scilly sites are well signposted, and the general fact that tourism is the main economy of the islands.
A few snippets re location. If coming from the west on the track past Lenteverne and you want to get to Innisidgen via the coast, you need to take the path to the right (downhill). After 100metres you then continue on slightly left (instead of crossing a tiny gully to the right which takes you to the coast path for the south) and you will be on the coastal path. It is a 'lower' grave in terms of height above sea level rather than lower in terms of south from the higher (i.e. the lower grave is actually to the north of the higher grave). Both are on the footpath. If you approach the area from the West it is much easier, because the path to the higher grave is signposted (and that path runs past the lower grave anyway).
'Higher Innisidgen Carn' is a real 'show grave'. A beauty; in a beautiful location. It just screams perfection. I noticed a strange similarity to the rocky outcrop above it (as if it mimicked it), and I swear I saw someone move in the rocky outcrop whilst I took a picture of both. Spooky.
For info on 'Lower Innisidgen Carn' see the separate page.
There is another chambered cairn in the area, marked on the map at around SV923122. If I found it, then all I found was a few jumbled stones just off the higher cliff path. I think maybe I didn't find it. Didn't have enough time, and the undergrowth in the whole area was pretty fierce.
This excellent entrance grave is in a mound 26ft in diameter. The entrance passage is no less than 18ft and is roofed with five capstones. Well signposted on the circular footpath around St Mary's and impossible to miss.
Following the main coast path round from Long Rock, we weren't entirely sure where the tomb was, but by simply going along the path you can't miss it.
Not as well preserved as Bant's Carn, but this is still a joy. The tombs on this island are staggering really, the size and thickness of the granite roofing slabs alone make me feel in awe of the people who built them.
Whereas the other "showpiece" tombs here are circular, this one is built to an oval plan and on a slope. The mound struck me a being shaped somewhat like a vulva (probably just me, sorry). Whatever, I noticed when I got home that pictures of this are all skewed, and the sea on the horizon is anything but horizontal. Must have made me a bit imbalanced at any rate, perhaps it was the heat.
Lower Innisidgen Entrance Grave - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003
For directions to both of the entrance graves please see the main Innisidgen page.
'Lower Innisidgen Carn' is the poorer relation but still retains a huge amount of dignity and presence, despite being on a slope, having only 2 capstones, and no fancy kerb (or renovation work, which I presume the Higher one has had).