Ancient Monuments

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Souterrains, 145m WNW and 115m WSW of Burnside Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Almond and Earn, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3782 / 56°22'41"N

Longitude: -3.3927 / 3°23'33"W

OS Eastings: 314091

OS Northings: 721522

OS Grid: NO140215

Mapcode National: GBR 20.25RP

Mapcode Global: WH6QC.VYM9

Entry Name: Souterrains, 145m WNW and 115m WSW of Burnside Cottage

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1998

Last Amended: 24 March 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6717

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: souterrain, earth-house

Location: Rhynd

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Almond and Earn

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises two souterrains of Iron Age date, visible as cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs.

The monument lies in arable farmland at around 40m above sea level. It comprises two tightly curved souterrains, the northerly of the two measures approximately 24m long, and the southerly of the two, approximately 14m long. Souterrains are semi-subterranean structures generally regarded as having been used for storage in the later prehistoric period.

The scheduled area is two circles, the northern circle is 34m in diameter, the southern circle is 24m in diameter, and includes the remains described above and an area around them within which related remains may be expected to be found, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a. The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past, as two souterrains identified through oblique aerial photography and dating to the Iron Age. 

b.  The monument retains buried structural and physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. These buried features could yield important dating and environmental information. Surviving elements can include buried structural remains, smaller archaeological features and artefacts / ecofacts. The study of these buried archaeological deposits and the material contained within them can tell us about their construction, use, reuse, repair and abandonment.

e.  The monument has research potential which could contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. It has the potential to tell us about the nature of the local economy such as agriculture and trade.

f.  The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape by providing two examples of subterranean storage among a wider distribution of contemporary settlement, agriculture and economic activity, focused along the River Tay and Tay estuary.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance 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 the buried archaeological remains of two souterrains as seen on oblique aerial photographs. Two characteristic, kidney-shape features are visible, representing the surviving elements of these subterranean structures. At approximately 24m long, the northern souterrain appears to be the larger of the two structures and it has a more detailed ground plan visible. The southern example is a smaller structure, at approximately 14m long and a simpler, kidney-shaped ground plan. A curving feature is also visible in the available aerial imagery, to the immediate south of the two souterrains, however this is thought to be the remains of a relatively recent woodland boundary.

Souterrains are narrow low roofed underground passages and were likely used for storage. They are mainly stone-lined but wooden variants have also been discovered. They tend to date to the Iron Age, as demonstrated by excavations further upstream and in the area of the River Tay, at Newmill (Canmore ID 27006) and further inland, northeast of Alyth, at Shanzie (Canmore ID 183018) and north of Monifieith, at Ardownie Farm Cottages, Angus (Canmore ID 68212). Excavations have revealed a rich assemblage of material such as cattle and sheep bones, plant material such as the grains from oats and barley and pollens associated with an agricultural landscape as well as pottery fragments and tools.

The size of souterrains, as indicated from their surviving ground plans, suggests that a large quantity of goods and agricultural surplus was or could have been stored in these underground voids and this points to indications about population, settlement, agriculture and economy in the wider area.

There is therefore considerable potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits such as those described, surviving within these two examples. They also have the potential to provide information about the function and date of souterrains and the relationship between adjacent examples in a wider, contemporary agricultural and settlement landscape.

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

Over 800 souterrains are known of in Scotland, distributed across most coastal and some inland regions. Notable clusters are found in Skye and the Southern Hebridean island chain as well as the Northern Isles, north and north east coast – the densest concentration of these monuments is in Perthshire and Angus roughly between the river Tay and Stonehaven. Locally, there are more than 30 examples located on low-lying fertile agricultural land bordering the north and south shores of the Tay estuary. These two examples are part of a local group of six souterrains lying to the north of Moncrieff Hill – the closest neighbouring example is 600m to the ESE (Canmore ID: 70818) and the furthest, approximately 5km to the southeast at Muirhead (Canmore ID: 72392).  

The monument is a representative example of its class and a component of the wider contemporary settlement and agricultural landscape. It therefore has great potential to help us understand more of the nature, development and the interrelationships of prehistoric settlement and activity, along the Tay estuary and more widely in Eastern Scotland.

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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 29373 (accessed on 15 December 2020).

Perth & Kinross heritage Trust HER Reference MPK3647 (accessed on 15 December 2020).

Remote (oblique aerial) imagery consulted:

RCAHMS, 1984, SC 1708446

RCAHMS, 1984, SC 1708447

RCAHMS, 1984, SC 1708448

RCAHMS, 1989, SC 1708494

RCAHMS, 1989, SC 1708495

RCAHMS, 1989, SC 1708496


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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