Ancient Monuments

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White Loch, roundhouse 310m south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Galloway and Wigtown West, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.858 / 54°51'28"N

Longitude: -4.6907 / 4°41'26"W

OS Eastings: 227387

OS Northings: 554789

OS Grid: NX273547

Mapcode National: GBR GHSW.44J

Mapcode Global: WH2SR.X5J2

Entry Name: White Loch, roundhouse 310m SE of

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1976

Last Amended: 26 September 2018

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3844

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Old Luce

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Mid Galloway and Wigtown West

Traditional County: Wigtownshire


The monument is the remains of a roundhouse dating to the Bronze Age or Iron Age (around 2500 BC to 400 AD). It is visible as a vegetation covered circular structure measuring around 7m in diameter within stone walls varying from around 1.5m to about 2.5m wide. The walls stand up to about 0.6m in height and an entrance gap is visible on the south-southeast. The monument is located on a gentle southeast facing slope, at around 100m above sea level.

The roundhouse has been levelled into the slope and the walls increase in height and thicken towards the rear of structure. At the entrance the walls are around 0.4m high and 1.5m thick and increase in height to about 0.6m internally and about 2.5m wide at the north. Within the roundhouse there is a distinct central mound of stones measuring around 2m in diameter, a stone platform abutting the east wall and a stony spread against the north wall.

The scheduled area is circular on plan with a diameter of 31m. It includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of the monument has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

The monument consists of the remains of a substantial stone-walled roundhouse. It is well preserved with substantial stone walls and surviving internal features which can be interpreted as the remains of a central raised hearth and raised stone platform. The survival of such features is unusual. Similar stone-built raised hearths were uncovered within Iron Age timber roundhouses excavated at Black Loch of Myrton, Dumfries and Galloway (Canmore ID 62815). The hearths had been refurbished a number of times and were formed of mounds of cobbles topped with a stone slab or a clay surface.

Stone platforms similar to that identified within White Loch were uncovered during the excavation of a roundhouse at Moss Raploch, Clatteringshaws, Dumfries and Galloway (Canmore ID 67333). One was interpreted as storage platform. The internal features at White Loch therefore have the potential to tell us about the use and division of space within later prehistoric roundhouses. The monument can tell us about the nature and character of such houses, including the building techniques used to construct them.

There is good potential for the survival of archaeological deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal and pollen within, beneath and around the remains of the roundhouse. These deposits can help us understand more about prehistoric domestic and agricultural practice, and the significance of materials, technology and craft in a domestic-agricultural context. This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of settlement, land-use and environment during later prehistory, and provide information about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants and the structure of contemporary society and economy.

Such stone-walled roundhouses are likely Bronze Age or Iron Age in date. There is no clear indication whether the remains derive from an extended development sequence. Scientific study of the form and construction of the roundhouse has the potential to clarify the date of the remains and the development sequence at this site. Comparative study of the form and structure of the roundhouse has the potential to provide information about the design, construction and development of later prehistoric settlement.

Contextual Characteristics

Later prehistoric roundhouses are a widespread class found throughout Scotland. In Wigtownshire the majority of roundhouses have been recorded in the eastern Rhins with fewer known to the west and southeast. Many of the known examples do not display clear upstanding remains to the extent of those at White Loch. The monument therefore is significant as an upstanding, well-preserved and largely undisturbed example. It is positioned within a local area within which relatively few later prehistoric roundhouses have been identified.

The monument has the potential to reveal much about house building, and small-scale community living during later prehistory. It represents widespread settlement of the country and in this case may be part of a disparate community spread across both the upland and lowland regions of Galloway. Comparing these examples to others in the southwest and across Scotland can create an understanding of regional identities and differing lifestyles, economies and wider society during the first and second millenniums BC.

Associative Characteristic

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this site's national importance.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it makes a significant addition to our understanding of later prehistoric society and the construction, use and development of settlement in the southwest of Scotland. The roundhouse is a good example of later prehistoric settlement that retains its field characteristics and preserves upstanding internal features. As such there is significant potential for the survival of archaeological deposits within and around the roundhouse. As a well-preserved example of a roundhouse the monument can significantly expand our understanding of domestic buildings, agriculture and economy. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the character and development of Iron Age settlements in southwest Scotland, as well as society and economy during this period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 62229 (accessed on 22/08/2018).

Dumfries and Galloway HER Reference MDG2097 (accessed on 22/08/2018).

Condry, J. and Ansell, M. (1978) The excavation of a hut-circle at Moss Raploch, Clatteringshaws. Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society. 53, 105-113.

Crone, A. and Cavers, G. (2015) The Black Loch of Myrton: an Iron Age loch village in south-west Scotland. Antiquity Project Gallery 89(346): (accessed on 22/08/2018)

Pollar, T. I. (2005) Interpreting Iron Age settlement landscapes of Wigtownshire. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Glasgow.

Pope, R. E. (2014) Bronze Age architectural traditions: dates and landscapes in Hunter, F and Ralston, I B M (eds) The Later Bronze Age and Iron Age of Scotland from a European Perspective. Oxbow: Oxford.

Toolis, R. (2015) Iron Age settlement patterns in Galloway. Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society. Third Series, Volume 89. pp. 17-34.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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