Ancient Monuments

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Mains of Inchture, prehistoric and later settlement and enclosures

A Scheduled Monument in Carse of Gowrie, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.446 / 56°26'45"N

Longitude: -3.1642 / 3°9'51"W

OS Eastings: 328329

OS Northings: 728808

OS Grid: NO283288

Mapcode National: GBR VF.DT2V

Mapcode Global: WH6Q9.C7HS

Entry Name: Mains of Inchture, prehistoric and later settlement and enclosures

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7205

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement; Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated

Location: Inchture

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Carse of Gowrie

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises an area of enclosures and settlement remains, dating to the prehistoric and medieval periods, visible as a series of cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs.

The monument occupies an area of arable farmland at around 10m OD. The NW part of the site is occupied by a series of large rectilinear enclosures defined by substantial ditches. The largest measures approximately 125m NW-SE by at least 125m, with a well defined entrance in the middle of its NE side.

The boundary ditch of this enclosure appears to have been re-aligned on at least one occasion, as multiple lines of ditch are visible in places. Within this area of enclosures are set the remains of several curvilinear structures which appear to represent the remains of prehistoric settlement.

The enclosures, however, seem more likely to relate to the medieval settlement of Inchture, the focal point of which is represented by the parish church, close to the W of the area proposed for scheduling.

On the SE part of the site is a dense scatter of smaller features, most seemingly representing the remains of prehistoric circular buildings and associated features. Among the most unusual, however, are two dense, dark rectangular cropmarks, measuring approximately 7m by 5m and 4m by 3m, set at right angles to each other in the SE area of the site.

These would appear to represent the remains of sunken-floored rectangular buildings of a type which would be expected to date to the medieval period. The survival of such buildings in the lowland zone is extremely rare.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described above and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 332m between its N and S-most points, and 310m between its E and W-most points, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our understanding both of prehistoric settlement and economy, and of rural settlement in the medieval period. Its importance is enhanced by the occurrence of prehistoric and later features on the same site, providing an extremely rare opportunity to trace the development of rural settlement from the prehistoric to the medieval period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 22 NE 17.

Aerial Photographs used:

RCAHMS (1978) PT/6000 NO22NE17.

RCAHMS (1992) B79808 NO22NE17.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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