Ancient Monuments

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Southfield, cropmarks east and south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Tay Bridgehead, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3839 / 56°23'1"N

Longitude: -2.9024 / 2°54'8"W

OS Eastings: 344373

OS Northings: 721653

OS Grid: NO443216

Mapcode National: GBR 2M.1MW9

Mapcode Global: WH7RR.DS3X

Entry Name: Southfield, cropmarks E and SE of

Scheduled Date: 15 August 1991

Last Amended: 3 March 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5065

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: field or field system; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: enclosur

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife

Description

The monument comprises the remains of enclosures, houses, field systems, burial and ceremonial sites, and other features, dating from the Late Neolithic/Bronze Age to the medieval period (c 4500 years old to c 300 years old). The monument is already scheduled, but is being re-scheduled to adjust, and reduce slightly, the protected area in the light of additional information about past activities which will have affected the survival of archaeological remains.

Most of the complex appears in arable fields as marks in cereal crops; experience shows that further remains will survive in the areas (not susceptible to cropmarks) between the visible marks. The remains appear as the marks of enclosures (rectangular, circular, oval), fields and of pitted enclosures and scatters of individual pits. There are a number of annular ditched enclosures, probably ploughed-out burial barrows, and a pit circle, probably all Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age in date. There are two phases of extensive rectilinear field system. There are also a number of undatable rectilinear enclosures, not apparently joined together; it is possible that one or two of these are also Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age.

It is clear from the cropmarks that many phases of activity are represented here. The area now to be scheduled measures a maximum of 940m W-E, by 1210m NNW-SSE. It includes the area in which cropmarks are visible, and areas between and around this, where further features are likely to survive, all as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a cropmark complex of individual and related features representing the use of the area over at least 3500 years. Even though the area is under the plough, experience shows that extensive and important archaeological features and deposits will survive below plough level.

The complex has the potential to enhance very considerably our understanding of many aspects of prehistoric and historic life, including agriculture, the design and use of settlements, and burial and ceremonial activity.

The monument is of particular importance because of the clear complexity of the remains; it has the potential greatly to increase our knowledge of the development and use of the farmed landscape over much of the prehistoric and historic periods in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NO 42 SW 8.

Aerial photographs consulted:

A 22141-44 (1984)

B 38266-70 (1990)

F 7610 CUCAP (1978)

References:

St Joseph, J. K. (1951a) 'Air reconnaissance of North Britain', Jour. Roman Stud, vol. 41, 52-65.

St Joseph, J. K. (1967) 'Air reconnaissance: recent results, 10', Antiquity, vol. 41, 148-9.

Stevenson, R. B. K. (1953) 'Leuchars', Discovery Excav Scot, 9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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