Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Barrow cemetery and pits, 300m WNW of South Strathy

A Scheduled Monument in Strathallan, Perth and Kinross

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 56.3267 / 56°19'36"N

Longitude: -3.6378 / 3°38'15"W

OS Eastings: 298819

OS Northings: 716132

OS Grid: NN988161

Mapcode National: GBR 1Q.5BQW

Mapcode Global: WH5PJ.370P

Entry Name: Barrow cemetery and pits, 300m WNW of South Strathy

Scheduled Date: 20 January 2003

Last Amended: 22 November 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7947

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Auchterarder

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises the remains of four prehistoric burial monuments known as round barrows and a group of five pits. These features survive as buried archaeological remains and are visible as cropmarks on oblique aerial photography. The monument is located in low lying arable farmland, at around 30m above sea level.

The barrows are visible as four sub-circular and curved features and they are set out along a roughly northeast to southwest alignment. The barrows range in size between 9m and 15m in diameter. Two of them have smaller, curved features to their immediate west. At approximately 40m to the west of the southwest-most barrow, there is a small group of five subcircular pits varying in size between 1.5m and 5m wide. The barrows are likely to contain the remains of one or more human burials placed in or around the centre of each, as well as associated archaeological materials and environmental deposits, sealed in the soil layers below the surface but often not seen in aerial imagery. Similar, excavated examples have been dated to the Bronze Age (2500 BC – 800 BC). The small group of pits represent additional, archaeological and environmental materials and deposits thought to be associated with the barrows. 

The scheduled area is triangular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded from the scheduling are the above ground remains of all modern boundary features including fencing.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a.  The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past or has the potential to do so as a Bronze Age barrow cemetery.

b.   The monument retains buried physical evidence which can make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. The transcription of aerial imagery indicates the presence of burial features within four barrows. The five pits and the associated archaeological and environmental remains adds to the interest.

c.   The monument is a rare example of a grouping of contemporary Bronze Age burials known as a barrow cemetery.  

e.   The monument has archaeological research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. Study of the surviving elements of a cluster of burials here and the associated pits can help us understand burial practice, the ways in which the dead were commemorated and the significance of placing such monuments in the wider landscape.  

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape - the barrow cemetery and pits are one component of a larger group of contemporary monuments including the remains of settlement, agriculture, ceremony and ritual and as such, a reflection on wider Bronze Age society and activity along Strathearn.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

This monument has been recorded as cropmarks on aerial photographs - its features survive as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. A group of at least four prehistoric burials and elements of the earthen mound structures that once overlay them survive alongside five pits which are thought to be associated with the barrows. These features are likely to date to the Bronze Age (2500 BC – 800 BC).

The simple, earthen construction of barrows makes them more susceptible to erosion, especially where they are located in fertile, low lying cultivated soils. In this monument, the overlying earthen mounds have disappeared over time and, drawing from evidence recovered at similar excavated examples elsewhere in Scotland, only the subsurface remains of the burials and their associated artefacts along with important environmental remains are likely to survive here, as evidenced in the transcription of aerial photographs.

One or more burials may be present within the circular and semi-circular features of each barrow and this may represent phasing and reuse of the original monument. The presence of a ditched features around parts of these burials is of further interest, the fills of which are likely to contain important information about the environment at the time. The grouping of these features into a small barrow cemetery adds to our interest and the adjacent pits may represent elements of the burial practice and activity associated with the cemetery. Finally, there are additional linear features which can be seen in aerial imagery which are likely to be remains of much later rig and furrow agriculture.

There is therefore potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including burial works, skeletal remains, grave goods and the construction detail of the overlying earth mounds as well as the remains of funerary practice and ceremonies that took place here. The ditched features which are evident are likely to contain debris and important environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen and this can help us understand more of the environment when the monument was in use. Overall, these archaeological and environmental features have the potential provide information about the function and date of the barrows and pits and their relationship with each other.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

Earthen round barrows are an uncommon form of prehistoric burial monument in Scotland and part of a sub-class of more than 600 earthen burial monuments. Groups of barrows or barrow cemeteries are rare – for example, less than 20 barrow cemeteries, generally ascribed as prehistoric, are recorded in the National Record of the Historic Environment.

This type of monument is part of a much wider tradition of marking one or more burials in the landscape, by an overburden of soil or stone, so that the visibility of such burials is much greater. They can also be placed on skylines and in prominent locations such as natural routeways to enhance their visibility further. In this case the barrows and pits are located on low lying ground south of the River Earn – a natural routeway and part of a wider complex of contemporary prehistoric activity involving ceremony, ritual, settlement and agriculture such as the enclosure at Drumtogle, 500m to the west (scheduled monument SM8029); the standing stone, enclosure and ring ditch at Haugh of Aberuthven 1km to the west northwest (scheduled monument SM7948); the ring ditches at Masterfield to the north east (scheduled monument SM8767) and; the dense concentration of prehistoric activity around the village of Dunning. The presence of a cemetery here is indicates the importance placed upon death, burial and commemoration by Bronze Age communities.  

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

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

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 25969 (accessed on 04/10/2021).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MPK1323 (accessed on 04/10/2021).


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.