Ancient Monuments

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Robgill Mains, cairn 320m east of

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.0286 / 55°1'43"N

Longitude: -3.1791 / 3°10'44"W

OS Eastings: 324723

OS Northings: 571090

OS Grid: NY247710

Mapcode National: GBR 6B79.J5

Mapcode Global: WH6Y2.4VDV

Entry Name: Robgill Mains, cairn 320m E of

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11987

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Dornock

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire

Description

The monument comprises a burial cairn likely to date to the Bronze Age, now visible as a low, grass-covered circular stone mound. Cairns are one of several types of monument that prehistoric people built as places for their dead throughout the second millennium BC. This cairn lies on the NE side of the Solway Firth at 75m above sea level, in a large cultivated field and around 500m west of the Kirtle Water.

This large cairn is approximately 30m in diameter and over 3m high, although the removal of some of its stone structure has left three distinct hollows in the monument. On its eastern side stones are visible that might be part of a kerb arrangement defining the cairn's outer perimeter.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the cairn, 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 character

The cairn is a large, well-preserved example and retains much of the key field characteristics for its class, including stone mounding, a possible outer kerb arrangement and burial deposits. It has good potential to reveal information about communities living in SW Scotland during the Bronze Age and how they built and used these sites. The cairn is likely to seal a buried land surface and this could provide evidence of the environment at the time the cairn was built and used.

Contextual characteristics

It belongs to a geographically widespread and diverse group of over 300 early prehistoric burial monuments found in the south-west of Scotland. While they may share some similar characteristics in their construction, position or setting, they often reflect very different traditions when dealing with the dead, and superficial similarities in appearance may mask a range of different local practices. This example is part of a local cluster of burial monuments that are likely to be similar in date, and so their physical inter-relationship is significant. Such cairns often display similar attributes in the landscape: their proximity to watercourses (such as the N-S flowing rivers feeding the northern Solway Firth), their proximity to broadly contemporary monuments (such as stone circles); and a broadly S-facing aspect across the Solway plain. The line of the Kirtle Water seems to have been an influential factor in the position of several of these cairns, including this example.

National importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the nature of death and burial during the Bronze Age in SW Scotland. It has the potential to reveal information about monument construction, funerary practice and the material culture of the societies who buried their dead in such cairns, as well as the environment in which they lived. This monument plays an important part in a much broader understanding about the lives of Bronze-Age people in SW Scotland and the influences upon them locally, across the Solway Firth and perhaps even the Irish Sea. The cairn is an integral component of the Bronze-Age landscape, significant because of its association with other ritual monuments (such as stone circles and standing stones) and by its proximity to areas of contemporary agriculture and settlement, connecting those who settled and worked here with their dead. The loss of the monument would affect our future ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscape and its inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as NY27SW 8.

References:

RCAHMS 1997, EASTERN DUMFRIESSHIRE: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE, Edinburgh: HMSO.

Yates M J 1984, BRONZE AGE ROUND CAIRNS IN DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY: AN INVENTORY AND DISCUSSION, Brit Archaeol Rep Brit Ser 132, Oxford: BAR.

Yates M J 1985, ?GROUPS OF SMALL CAIRNS IN NORTHERN BRITAIN - A VIEW FROM SW SCOTLAND?, PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 114, 217-34.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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