Ancient Monuments

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Terrona, scooped settlement 150m south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale East and Eskdale, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.1747 / 55°10'28"N

Longitude: -2.9858 / 2°59'8"W

OS Eastings: 337311

OS Northings: 587149

OS Grid: NY373871

Mapcode National: GBR 78LL.CV

Mapcode Global: WH7YQ.36GC

Entry Name: Terrona, scooped settlement 150m SE of

Scheduled Date: 26 March 1987

Last Amended: 16 March 2010

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4412

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: scooped settlement

Location: Ewes

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises the upstanding remains of a prehistoric scooped settlement visible as a level platform surrounded by a stone bank, likely to date to the last centuries BC/early centuries AD. It lies on a terrace on the lower slopes of Terrona Hill, around 110m above sea level and overlooking the Ewes Water. The monument was last scheduled in 1987, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The interior of the enclosure is oval and covers at least 0.29ha. It measures 70m NW-SE by 54m traversely and cuts into the slope on the E side, enclosed by a stony bank up to 4.8m thick and 0.5m high. On the SE side the bank is constructed on a natural slope. Within the interior of the enclosure lie two platforms. The entrance is probably to the west opening onto the Ewes Water. There are other gaps in the enclosing bank, including one in the north and another in the east, but it is unclear whether these are secondary entrances or later interventions.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area on the SSE side extends up to but excludes the burn. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the electricity poles, stone field wall and post-and-wire fence within the scheduled area, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument is visible as a platform cut into the natural slope. It is surrounded by a stony bank with an entrance. It has been ploughed in the past and there is no upstanding evidence of internal features. It survives in an area of heavy agricultural activity and is an example of a large prehistoric defended scooped settlement.

Potential exists for preservation of a buried soil beneath the bank, providing evidence of the environment within which Iron-Age people built the settlement. Inside the enclosure good potential exists for the preservation of archaeological evidence relating to the construction and occupation of the site and the daily lives of the people who occupied them. In particular, this type of site is likely to have evidence of roundhouses and domestic structures and internal yards for animals. Evidence of timber and stone structures has been found in other similar sites. As this type of settlement can include a yard there may be areas where evidence of the agricultural regime exists. Buried deposits also have the potential to add to our understanding of the economy of the prehistoric period.

Contextual characteristics

Defended settlements were built at various times from at least the end of the late Bronze Age (around 800 BC) until probably the end of the early Middle Ages (around 1000 AD). Evidence from excavation suggests that the majority of scooped settlements date from the end of the 1st millennium BC through to the beginning of the 1st millennium AD.

The monument is situated near the bottom of a valley around 250m to the east of Ewes Water. The entrance faces out towards the river. It is set on ground that is easily accessible and it would seem controlled access to the site was not the most important factor in choosing its location. Comparing and contrasting the settlement to other nearby examples (as Iron-Age settlements tend to be constructed in close proximity to each other) can enable an understanding of how such sites are positioned within the landscape, as well as provide enhanced contexts for the understanding of Iron-Age economy, structure of society and expansion of prehistoric settlement in the area.

The construction of scooped settlements, including size, form, features and their placement in the landscape are all important in understanding this type of monument. This monument is one of relatively few larger scooped settlements. This may indicate a larger settlement or a slightly different function, with possibly a larger yard. By comparing this monument to others of its type we can learn more about the function and design of prehistoric scooped settlements in eastern Dumfries and Galloway and more widely throughout Scotland. The monument also complements the other types of prehistoric settlement sites identified close by in Ewesdale, to provide a fuller picture of prehistoric landscape and society in the region over time.

Associative characteristics

The Ordnance Survey 1st and 2nd Edition mapping marks this site as a 'Fort'. This suggests an awareness of the site as a historical place and an attachment of value.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular later prehistoric settlement along the river Esk. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to our knowledge of vernacular architecture, landuse and society in this locality and by association the rest of Scotland in the later prehistoric period. Domestic remains and artefacts from settlements have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric society, its architecture, how people lived, where they came from, who they had contacts with and also to provide us with evidence of native-Roman interaction. Archaeological deposits preserved beneath the bank and in the interior of the monument may provide information about the nature of the contemporary environment and the use prehistoric farmers made of it. Spatial analysis of sites may inform our understanding of patterns of landholding and the expansion of settlement. The loss of this site in eastern Dumfries and Galloway would affect our future ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscape and its inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NY38NE 8 (a copy of their short report is appended) and the Dumfries and Galloway SMR as MDG7905.


Jobey, G 1971, 'Early Settlements in eastern Dumfriesshire', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 48, 48, 98.

Kokeza, N 2008, Later Prehistoric Enclosed Site Evidence of Southern Scotland, BAR Brit Ser 469.

RCAHMS 1920, RCAHMS. Seventh Report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the County of Dumfries, Edinburgh: RCAHMS, 209.

RCAHMS 1997, Eastern Dumfriesshire: An Archaeological Landscape, RCAHMS, Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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