The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


The island of Nornour (SV 944147) is less than four acres in size and is joined to Great Ganilly at low tide. Yet the excavations of the late 60's and early '70's revealed the remains of a major settlement which was occupied from the middle of the Bronze Age to the Romano-British Iron Age. Nornour clearly reveals the effects of rising sea levels, as this tiny scrap of land could never have supported such a thriving community. Many more houses are doubtless lost beneath the sea and right up until Tudor times, the islands of the Scillies were one island - known then as Ennor. Did the inundation of Ennor give rise to the legend of the Lost Land of Lyonesse? (see Scilly-Lyonesse)

On Nornour, there are eleven circular stone houses each having a main room with a smaller chamber alongside. Later, in the Iron Age, the site became a shrine to the goddess Silina and a number of goddess figurines have been found. The island also housed a workshop for brooches and other items. Over 3000 brooches, 35 bronze rings, 11 bracelets, 24 glass beads and 84 Roman coins have been excavated. The photographs were taken in 1970, soon after wind and waves exposed the site that was previously covered by sand. Since then, the sea has subsequently damaged much of the site. The settlement is still visible, but access is discouraged. All of the finds are displayed in the museum on St Mary's.
Earthstepper Posted by Earthstepper
6th September 2003ce
Edited 11th November 2003ce

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