Location of Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill cemetery lies on the highest point of the island and is still occasionally used. As well as the more recent graves there are indications that the site has been used for at least 1500 years.

Towards the north are the remains of a chapel of unknown date which has been ruined for many centuries. The ruination was completed in 1804 when stone was used by an Ordnance Survey team to build a cairn. Futher south can be seen the excavated remains of several stone-lined and covered "cist" burials. Charles Thomas who excavated these has suggested that they formed part of a monastic cemetery surrounding the grave of an early saint. He believes that saint was originally the king of the Welsh kingdom of Brecon who retired and took the name Nectan. The original grave appeared to have been opened which would be accounted for by the removal of the relics of the saint to Hartland.

The triple grave

The triple grave in the photo lies next to the original construction wall of the saint's grave.

Also within the cemetery have been found four early christian grave markers. None was found associated with a grave as all had been moved. They are of a type well known in Wales and South West England with short latin inscriptions. They are currently propped up against the boundary wall. The stones read

Beacon Hill Montagu Steps Devil's Limekiln Rocket Pole St Helen's Church The South Light The Castle Millcombe The Village Anti-aircraft trenches Brick Field Quarry Cottages Quarter Wall Battery Point Punchbowl Valley The Earthquake Quarry Hospital Tibbetts Halfway Wall Mangonel Battery Brazen Ward John O'Groats House The North Light Pondsbury The Quarries The Landing Bay The Old Light Kaaksburg Devil's Slide