Ancient Monuments

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Bessie's Hill, settlement 150m north east of summit

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale East and Eskdale, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.2483 / 55°14'54"N

Longitude: -3.1827 / 3°10'57"W

OS Eastings: 324911

OS Northings: 595543

OS Grid: NY249955

Mapcode National: GBR 676R.RF

Mapcode Global: WH6X3.2BQW

Entry Name: Bessie's Hill, settlement 150m NE of summit

Scheduled Date: 14 January 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10346

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Eskdalemuir

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosed settlement dating from the later prehistoric period.

The settlement sits at around 270m OD on an E facing slope overlooking the valley of the White Esk. The subcircular enclosure occupies a sloping site and is defined by a rampart standing almost 1m high with an external ditch. The ditch is particularly deep on the N and W (upslope) sides of the monument but fades on the S and E sides. There are three entrances located to the S, SE and ENE, with the largest in the S at the lowest point of the enclosure's internal slope. The interior of the enclosure measures a maximum of 50m across and is uneven, due both to the underlying geology and the probable arrangement of building platforms, yards and scoops within the settlement itself.

Although the substantial rampart and ditch may give the initial impression of a highly defensive enclosure, this site is overlooked from the N and could not have served a primarily defensive purpose. This monument is one of a large number of later prehistoric enclosed settlements concentrated around the upper reaches of the River Esk and its tributaries. The reason for this peculiar concentration of such sites and the relationship between them is not clearly understood at the present time.

The area to be scheduled is a circle, c.110m in diameter centred on the settlement, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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