Ancient Monuments

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Colliston Castle,enclosure,souterrain,ring ditches & pit alignment

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6085 / 56°36'30"N

Longitude: -2.6383 / 2°38'17"W

OS Eastings: 360914

OS Northings: 746478

OS Grid: NO609464

Mapcode National: GBR VT.BP73

Mapcode Global: WH8S1.F5W4

Entry Name: Colliston Castle,enclosure,souterrain,ring ditches & pit alignment

Scheduled Date: 7 November 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6125

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Arbroath and St Vigeans

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosure, a souterrain, a pit alignment and a series of ring ditches, of prehistoric date represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs. The monument lies in undulating arable farmland at around 40m OD on the S bank of Colliston Burn. The enclosure, lying at the N of the site, is formed by a ditch some 3m wide which encloses an area some 50m E-W by 30m with an E-facing entrance and a gap some 15m wide adjacent to the burn. A faint internal palisade may represent a separate phase of enclosure and there are indications of surviving internal structures. Immediately E of the enclosure is a probable souterrain formed by a crescentic ditch some 12m long. To the SW of the enclosure are several annular and circular cropmarks representing ring ditch houses. An irregular alignment of large pits runs unevenly to the SE from the E side of the enclosure. The monument appears to represent a substantial multi-period settlement complex comprising both enclosed and open settlement. The area to be scheduled encompasses the visible features and an area around them in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. It is divided into two irregularly shaped parts. The W part has maximum dimensions of 250m ENE-WSW by 220m while the E part measures 100m NNE-SSW by 45m, both as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to add to our understanding of the development of prehistoric settlement and economy. The juxtaposition of so many features of different forms suggests that the monument will be of considerable importance in assessing the relationship between the various types of prehistoric open and closed settlement represented.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 64 NW 31-4.


RCAHMS 1978, The archaeological sites and monuments of Lunan Valley, Montrose Basin, Angus District, Tayside Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 4 Edinburgh, No. 94, 127, 153, 160.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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