Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Craigbeck Hope, burnt mound 1100m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.3112 / 55°18'40"N

Longitude: -3.3711 / 3°22'15"W

OS Eastings: 313070

OS Northings: 602760

OS Grid: NT130027

Mapcode National: GBR 47W0.YW

Mapcode Global: WH6WM.5RZQ

Entry Name: Craigbeck Hope, burnt mound 1100m SW of

Scheduled Date: 27 January 2010

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12664

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: burnt mound

Location: Moffat

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises a burnt mound likely to date to the late Neolithic or Bronze Age. It survives as a large, turf-covered stone structure and is located on sloping, open grassland on the SW side of Yadburgh Hill at approximately 330m above sea level.

The mound measures approximately 8m across and is broadly triangular on plan although it has a flattened, conical appearance on the ground. It survives at 1.5m high and is visible on the hillside despite being obscured by long-growing vegetation. None of its internal structure is visible and its present form indicates that it is undisturbed. Researchers believe burnt mounds like this could have a combination of functions. The favoured interpretation in Scotland is that they are place were where people heated stones to boil water for cooking purposes. Alternative or additional possible uses include: a sauna/sweat-lodge (could be medicinal as well as sanitary); bath; textile production (dying; fulling); brewing; and leather working.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the monument, 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 mound represents an undisturbed example of what researchers believe is a prehistoric domestic site. The turf mound is likely to seal a stone-lined structure containing a trough or pit for holding water as well as organic remains (such as charcoal and ash) from the fires that would have been burned here. The soil conditions may be suitable for the survival of associated deposits relating to the preparation and processing of food at the site and there may be additional remains from the activities of people who would have gathered here, especially in the vicinity of the nearby stream. It can therefore reveal much about the function of these mounds and the time-frame over which they were used. The ecofactual evidence that is likely to survive in and underneath the monument can tell us something of the environment when the monument was constructed and in use.

Contextual characteristics

This example is one of a recognised regional group of burnt mounds in SW Scotland and part of the wider clustered distribution of 1900 or so mounds found in the Shetland Isles, Orkney and Scottish Borders. It is a moderately large and therefore relatively uncommon example in SW Scotland. The location is typical for burnt mounds - on a S-facing slope and adjacent to running water. It is likely to have been a place of short-term but repeated encampment in an area where hunting took place. The monument therefore has the potential to tell us about the ways in which prehistoric communities organised their domestic arrangements and, when related to other burnt mounds, something of the wider use of land for hunting and individual sites for food processing. It can also help us understand more about the prehistoric diet.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the construction and use of prehistoric domestic production sites. The good preservation and completeness of this mound enhances this potential. The monument's loss would impede our ability to understand the wider context and organisation of early prehistoric life.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NT10SW 31. Dumfries and Galloway Council Sites and Monuments Record records the site as MDG 5288.


RCAHMS 1997, Eastern Dumfriesshire: An Archaeological Landscape, Edinburgh, The Stationery Office.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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