Ancient Monuments

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Chalkyhill Wood, settlement 320m south west of Cairnhill

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

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Latitude: 55.0622 / 55°3'43"N

Longitude: -3.1597 / 3°9'35"W

OS Eastings: 326025

OS Northings: 574803

OS Grid: NY260748

Mapcode National: GBR 69CX.Q4

Mapcode Global: WH6Y2.F1L2

Entry Name: Chalkyhill Wood, settlement 320m SW of Cairnhill

Scheduled Date: 28 February 2008

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11990

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Kirkpatrick-Fleming

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises an enclosed settlement of probable Iron-Age date. It is situated in dense semi-natural woodland on a slight rise, at around 95m above sea level.

The enclosure is roughly oval in shape and measures about 80m E-W by about 50m transversely. Its limits are defined by an earth and stone rampart with an external ditch and counterscarp (small outer bank). The rampart, which is best preserved on the south-west, is up to about 4m wide and stands to a height of up to 0.6m on the interior of the enclosure and up to about 2m above the base of the ditch. The ditch measures up to about 3m wide and appears to have been deepened by relatively recent drainage works, particularly around the SE half of the enclosure. There is a possible entrance to the enclosure on the ENE, although this is obscured by a later ditch and bank that abuts the enclosure. Further ditches and banks radiate from the enclosure on the WSW and E. These appear to be later than the enclosure and are probably a product of 18th-century landscaping. The enclosure itself also shows some evidence of landscaping, as its bank is planted with regularly-spaced beech trees and its interior is planted with a number of exotic trees and shrubs.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, 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 is a well-preserved example of an enclosed settlement, likely to date to the late first millennium BC or early first millennium AD, surviving in woodland within a wider area of high agricultural activity. Buried deposits inside the enclosure may preserve evidence relating to the social structure and domestic architecture of the Iron-Age people who built and used this monument. Potential exists for a buried soil to be preserved beneath the rampart of the enclosure, while the ditches are likely to contain evidence than can inform us about the environment within which the enclosure was constructed and used.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is one of a number of enclosed settlement sites of probable Iron-Age date in eastern Dumfries and Galloway. It does not occupy an easily-defensible location, suggesting that its primary function was not defensive. Comparing and contrasting the enclosure with other nearby examples can enable an understanding of how Iron-Age farmers positioned such sites within the landscape, as well as provide enhanced contexts to improve our understanding of the Iron-Age economy and structure of society.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to further our understanding of a settlement type that characterises part of the wider Iron-Age domestic landscape, forming an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the Solway Firth. Archaeological deposits preserved within the bank, ditch and interior of the monument may provide information about the people who built and occupied the site, what the contemporary environment looked like, and how it was being managed. Spatial analysis of this monument and others in the wider area may further our understanding of patterns of landholding during the Iron Age. Its loss would impede our future ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscape and its inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NY27SE 1.


Macnae W 1934, ?On two forts near Sprinkell?, TRANS DUMFRIESSHIRE GALLOWAY NATUR HIST ANTIQ SOC, 3rd, 18, 1931-3, 243.

Mercer R 1997, ?Kirkpatrick Fleming Dumfriesshire. An Anatomy of a Parish in South West Scotland?, DUMFRIESSHIRE GALLOWAY NATUR HIST ANTIQ SOC, 22.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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