Ancient Monuments

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The Welton, palisaded enclosure and unenclosed settlement 295m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Blairgowrie and Glens, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.5805 / 56°34'49"N

Longitude: -3.315 / 3°18'54"W

OS Eastings: 319318

OS Northings: 743952

OS Grid: NO193439

Mapcode National: GBR V9.GFTF

Mapcode Global: WH6PG.1VPN

Entry Name: The Welton, palisaded enclosure and unenclosed settlement 295m SW of

Scheduled Date: 20 January 1999

Last Amended: 8 October 2019

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7177

Schedule Class: Cultural

Location: Blairgowrie

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Blairgowrie and Glens

Traditional County: Perthshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a palisaded enclosure and an unenclosed settlement, visible as cropmarks recorded on aerial photographs. The site is located around 60m above sea level on top of a steep scarp to the southeast of Blairgowrie, overlooking the floodplain of the River Ericht below.

The cropmarks, first recorded in 1989, show a small complex including three roundhouses and single palisaded enclosure, with a possible entrance on the east. The enclosure is roughly circular and measures around 30m in diameter. The roundhouses are all of similar size, around 10m in diameter. One of the roundhouses lies within the enclosure and the second lies outside of it to the southeast, while the third appears to overlap with the palisade enclosure itself on its southeast side. Two additional small archaeological features have also been noted immediately to the west of the enclosure, although their date and function are unclear.

The scheduled area is irregular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The above ground elements of the post and wire fence within the area are excluded, to allow for their maintenance.

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 as an example of a multi-phase prehistoric settlement, with both enclosed and unenclosed periods of construction and use, it has the potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past.

b. The monument retains physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. In particular, the archaeological remains and deposits indicated by the cropmarks visible of aerial photographs are likely to have evidence for the construction, use and abandonment of the prehistoric settlement.

d. The monument is a good example of a prehistoric multi-phase settlement, visible as clearly identifiable cropmarks over many years, and is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past, in particular, it holds the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric settlement practices within Scotland, and there is high potential for archaeological and paleo-environmental evidence to survive in and around the monument. It has also the potential to provide information about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants as well as contemporary economy and society.

f. The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape by its prominent location and its relationship to other contemporary monuments in the surrounding area and along the valley of the River Ericht. It has also the potential to increase our understanding of settlement hierarchy and changing settlement patterns along the valley.

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)

The monument is a multi-phase settlement, which has been recorded as cropmarks on aerial photographs and survives as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. It was first recorded in 1989, and has been visible in multiple years since that time. Although no features survive above ground, the different elements of the site and the overall plan of the monument is clear and understandable from the aerial photography.

Evidence from other similar sites have found roundhouses of the type visible in the cropmarks were in use from the late Neolithic through to the end of the Iron Age. The presence of the palisaded enclosure suggests a date early in this period, in common with other examples such as Forteviot (scheduled monument SM4111). The cropmarks indicate that the Welton settlement underwent multiple phases of construction and use, as evidenced by the overlapping of one roundhouse and the palisade enclosure, and the archaeological evidence of these relationships would provide valuable information on the development sequence of the site over its lifetime.

There is good potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen within the enclosure and the roundhouses. This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of settlement, land-use and environment during later prehistory. It has the potential to provide information about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants, as well as the structure of contemporary society and economy. Study of the monument's form and construction techniques compared with other settlement enclosures would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site and of prehistoric settlements in general.

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

Prehistoric enclosed and unenclosed settlements are found across Scotland. This particular example sits on top of a steep scarp overlooking the floodplain of the River Ericht, and its location within relatively flat arable land gives the site long view in most directions, including to some other roughly contemporary settlements such as another nearby settlement site at Welton, combined with barrows and a multi-vallate fort (scheduled monument SM7173) and the enclosed settlement and souterrains at Old Mains of Rattray (scheduled monument SM7210). Other settlements in the surrounding area include Mudhall (scheduled monument SM7321), Ryehill (scheduled monument SM7316) and Millhorn (scheduled monument SM7323).

The monument therefore has the potential to enhance and broaden our understanding of the nature, development and the interrelationships of later prehistoric settlement, both along the valley of the River Ericht and more widely. It can add to our knowledge of social status settlement hierarchy and changing settlement patterns, as well as important connections between communities during later prehistory.

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 this site's cultural significance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 71371 (accessed on 01/08/2019).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MPK6974 (accessed on 01/08/2019).

MacSween, A. and Sharp, M. (1989). Prehistoric Scotland. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.

Gould, A. (2019). Forteviot, Palisaded Enclosure Excavations 2010: Data Structure Report. [online] Glasgow: Strathearn Environs & Royal Forteviot (SERF) Project. Available at: https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_183897_en.pdf [Accessed 1 Aug. 2019].

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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