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Raggiewhate, enclosure 210m ESE of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1244 / 55°7'27"N

Longitude: -3.2956 / 3°17'44"W

OS Eastings: 317475

OS Northings: 581878

OS Grid: NY174818

Mapcode National: GBR 59F5.9V

Mapcode Global: WH6XM.BGWF

Entry Name: Raggiewhate, enclosure 210m ESE of

Scheduled Date: 7 February 2008

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11921

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: homestead

Location: Dryfesdale

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire

Description

The monument comprises an enclosure interpreted as a small settlement of probable Iron-Age date, situated on a gently sloping hillside above the valley of the Water of Milk, 210m ESE of Raggiewhate Farm.

Set into the SE-sloping hillside at about 145m above sea level, the grass-covered and roughly circular enclosure measures approximately 25m in diameter within a bank 6m wide and approximately 1m high, surrounded to the north-east and west by a ditch 0.4m deep and 2m wide. The interior is slightly scooped, with a well-defined entrance visible to the east. A fence and small road cuts across the N edge of the monument, removing part of the ditch. The monument has been ploughed in the past, although on the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1st edition map an area of forestry covers the site.

The area to be scheduled is a clipped circle on plan, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to the settlement's construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area extends up to but excludes the fence to the north.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

Visible as a series of turf-covered banks enclosing a slightly hollowed interior, the monument is an excellent example of a small well-preserved settlement of probable Iron-Age date, surviving in an area of agricultural activity. Although any settlement built into a slope requires some form of levelling of the ground surface, comparison of the form of this site with others suggests that it may be a small scooped settlement of mid- to late Iron-Age date. The location of the entrance on the downhill side of the enclosure, coupled with space at the rear of the interior for perhaps two roundhouses, indicates that this settlement supported one or two family units. Although the interior has been cultivated, evidence relating to the domestic structures and economy may be preserved as buried deposits inside the enclosure. The potential exists for an old ground surface or buried soil to remain preserved beneath the perimeter banks, and for environmental deposits to be preserved within the ditch, which would provide evidence of the Iron-Age environment within which the settlement was built. The monument has the potential to further our understanding of Iron-Age farming life, through analysis of the structural features of small (possibly scooped) settlements, and through the preservation of deposits relating to domestic and agricultural practices.

Contextual characteristics

The characteristics of this enclosure suggest that it is a scooped settlement. Such monuments are generally defined as being enclosures that are set into sloping ground and as having a hollowed-out interior. The interior is often on two levels, and the perimeter defined by wall or bank. Where there are two interior levels, the entrance (if defined) usually opens onto the lower level, which probably served as a farmyard. The upper level is usually assumed to be for timber roundhouses. Iron-Age scooped settlements are found widely throughout eastern Dumfriesshire, but they tend to occur in clustered intervals along the sides of valleys. It may be that more were originally located in low-lying areas, but once ploughing and agriculture have removed the perimeter bank the scooped interior is very difficult to recognise, even on aerial photographs. Of the approximate 180 known scooped settlements in the region, the majority enclosed an area of under 0.15ha, with only 60 enclosing an area larger than 0.22ha. Raggiewhate is one of the smaller examples, enclosing 0.05ha. Spatial analysis of Iron-Age scooped settlements and other settlement sites in the region may further our understanding of settlement location, the structure of society and the Iron-Age economy. Information gained from the preservation and study of this site can be used to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of Iron-Age enclosed settlement across Scotland.

Associative characteristics

The monument is named on both the OS 1st and 2nd edition maps as being a fort, an association probably achieved through the preservation of its upstanding earthworks, which suggests that local residents in the past have had an awareness of the significance and value of the site.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved probable scooped settlement that characterises the wider Iron-Age domestic landscape, forming an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the Water of Milk. Domestic remains and artefacts from settlements have the potential to tell us not only about prehistoric architecture, but also about wider prehistoric society, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contacts with. The old ground surfaces sealed by the perimeter banks can provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like and how it was being managed by the prehistoric farmers who lived here. Its loss would ...

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as NY18SE 4.

References:

Feachem R W 1956, ?Iron Age and early medieval monuments in Galloway and Dumfriesshire?, TRANS DUMFRIESSHIRE GALLOWAY NATUR HIST ANTIQ SOC 33, 65.

Jobey G 1971, ?Early settlement in eastern Dumfriesshire?, TRAN DUMFRIESSHIRE GALLOWAY NATUR HIST ANTIQ SOC 48, 98-99.

RCAHMS 1920, SEVENTH REPORT WITH INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF DUMFRIES, Edinburgh, HMSO, 47-48, No. 116.

RCAHMS 1997, EASTERN DUMFRIESSHIRE: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE, Edinburgh, HMSO, 302, No. 824.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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