Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ardgilzean, enclosure 540m east of

A Scheduled Monument in Strathmore, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.4499 / 56°26'59"N

Longitude: -3.4212 / 3°25'16"W

OS Eastings: 312492

OS Northings: 729542

OS Grid: NO124295

Mapcode National: GBR V7.8F5G

Mapcode Global: WH6Q5.F42R

Entry Name: Ardgilzean, enclosure 540m E of

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7029

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Scone

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathmore

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument was designated as the remains of a souterrain. It comprises a single souterrain visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photography.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The assessment using the selection guidance found that this monument did not meet the criterion of national importance. This assessment has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

This monument has been recorded as cropmarks on aerial photographs and survives as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. It is what is known as a 'souterrain' or 'earth house', a specific type of wood or stone-lined underground structure used for storage usually dating to the Iron Age. Most souterrains would have been built as part of an Iron Age settlement, often beside or near to a round house.  They are thought to have functioned primarily as storage for food materials that would benefit from cold, dark and dry conditions. There is no evidence for an associated round house at this monument, perhaps indicating that associated remains have been destroyed through ploughing, leaving only the more deeply buried remains of the souterrain.

Archaeological monuments often contain features that are not visible in aerial photographs and can have well preserved stratified layers of archaeological deposits. There is therefore potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen within and around the souterrrain.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

The monument has been identified as a souterrrain, a widespread type of later prehistoric monument which usually survive as sub-surface remains. The National Record of the Historic Environment records around 885 souterrains across Scotland. The majority (around 500) are recorded through aerial photography. Souterrains are often found in clusters, sometimes associated with prehistoric round houses, as well as being found within prehistoric settlement sites set in a larger enclosure. This example is a single souterrain, with no other prehistoric archaeological features identified in the immediate vicinity. As a single, isolated souterrain the significance of this monument is reduced.

There are other examples of souterrains in the general vicinity of this monument; Wester Pitkerro (Canmore ID282451; 4.5km ESE), Strathmartine Castle (Canmore ID73038; 4.5km WNW) and Linlathen (Canmore ID282449: 4.8km ESE). These prehistoric souterrains, also visible as cropmarks, have clearly defined remains and multiple recorded related features at each site such as other souterrains, roundhouses, pits or enclosures.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to the site's national importance.

National Importance

The site is a souterrain evidenced through cropmarks recorded on aerial photographs. Examples of other souterrains which are designated as being of national importance retain their field characteristics to a far greater degree than this site, with a complexity and coherence which indicates that they formed part of a more extensive complex of prehistoric remains. Based on the current available evidence, the site therefore does not meet the criterion of national importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 33526 (accessed on 13/05/2019).

Wilson D R 2000. Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists. Tempus, Stroud.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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