Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Mains of Kelly, enclosures and souterrain 300m SSE of

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim, Angus

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Latitude: 56.5401 / 56°32'24"N

Longitude: -2.6539 / 2°39'14"W

OS Eastings: 359884

OS Northings: 738873

OS Grid: NO598388

Mapcode National: GBR VS.VZJF

Mapcode Global: WH8S7.6WH4

Entry Name: Mains of Kelly, enclosures and souterrain 300m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 4 March 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6622

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Arbirlot

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of two enclosed settlements and a souterrain of prehistoric date represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs.

The monument lies in arable farmland at around 25-30m OD. It comprises the remains of two enclosures, one sub-rectangular, the other oval, and a souterrain. The sub-rectangular enclosure, which has a dense, dark cropmark in its S corner measures some 25-30m across. Sub-rectangular enclosures of this kind are commonly thought to relate to the period of Roman influence in lowland Scotland although some may in fact be medieval in date.

The oval enclosure to the W measures about 70m by 45m within a ditch of between 1-2m in width. In the S part of its interior lies a souterrain some 15-20m long, terminating in a dark circular cropmark, probably the remains of a building which occupies a substantial proportion of the enclosure. Souterrains were semi-underground cellars attached to above-ground settlements during the Iron Age. They are generally thought to have been used for storage.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the cropmark remains described above and an area around them in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. It is a parallelogram in shape with maximum dimensions of 160m ENE-WSW by 125m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and economy. Its importance is enhanced by the evidence it holds for the relationship between different structural forms.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 53 NE 51.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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