Ancient Monuments

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Milligansbush, palisaded enclosure 250m south west of

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

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Latitude: 55.0282 / 55°1'41"N

Longitude: -3.0778 / 3°4'40"W

OS Eastings: 331200

OS Northings: 570943

OS Grid: NY312709

Mapcode National: GBR 6BY9.G9

Mapcode Global: WH6Y3.PWL4

Entry Name: Milligansbush, palisaded enclosure 250m SW of

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12196

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Gretna

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises the remains of a palisaded enclosure, visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The enclosure is likely to date to the 1st millennium BC or early 1st millennium AD. The monument lies on a SSE-facing slope in an arable field, at 35m above sea level, close to the Black Sark Burn.

The enclosure is roughly oval in plan. The part of the enclosure visible as cropmarks measures a maximum of 30m N-S by 22m transversely. The entrance is likely to be on the south.

The area to be scheduled is roughly oval on plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument consists of a palisaded enclosure, likely to date to the first millennium BC or early first millennium AD, surviving as a negative (buried) feature and visible as a cropmark on a range of aerial photographs. No features are visible within the enclosure but excavations on similar sites suggest that the remains of roundhouses and associated features are likely to be preserved. The palisade slot may contain deposits and archaeological features relating to the construction and occupation of the monument. The monument has considerable potential to enhance understanding of Iron-Age domestic, defensive and ritual activity. The location of the enclosure, on a knoll in the lowland zone, close to the Black Sark Burn suggests that access to good agricultural land was important to its builders.

Contextual characteristics

Ten palisaded enclosures have been identified through aerial survey in eastern Dumfries and Galloway, of which this is one. Nine have been identified from upstanding remains, during field survey. A further four have been identified by excavation or archaeological evaluation. Size, shape and complexity within this class of site varies widely. Each enclosure therefore has the capacity to contribute something unique towards our understanding of palisaded enclosures and settlements. In addition, comparing and contrasting palisaded enclosures with ditched enclosures and forts can enhance our understanding of the relationships between such sites, thus shedding light on the social structure and economy during the Iron Age. This monument therefore has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of the role of lowland enclosures in the later prehistoric settlement pattern.

In eastern Dumfries and Galloway, such enclosures may also provide evidence of native-Roman interaction. For this reason, this monument's significance is enhanced by its proximity to the complex of Roman camps at Kirkpatrick Fleming, less than 4km to the west.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to enhance our understanding of a settlement type that characterises the wider Iron-Age domestic landscape, forming an important aspect of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the River Annan and Kirtle Water. Domestic remains and artefacts from enclosures and 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 provide evidence of native-Roman interaction. Archaeological deposits preserved within the palisade slot and interior of the monument may provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like, and how prehistoric farmers used it. Spatial analysis of sites may inform our understanding of patterns of landholding and the expansion of settlement. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments (particularly those in low-lying undefendable locations) within the landscape both in eastern Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland, as well as our knowledge of Roman-native interaction and Iron-Age social structure, economy, and building practices.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as Milligansbush, Enclosure: palisaded, NY37SW28.


C6032 - Milligansbush, enclosure: palisaded.

C6030 - Milligansbush, enclosure: palisaded.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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