Ancient Monuments

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Kinnelhead Tower, fortified farmstead & cross incised stones

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.2997 / 55°17'58"N

Longitude: -3.5326 / 3°31'57"W

OS Eastings: 302790

OS Northings: 601688

OS Grid: NT027016

Mapcode National: GBR 37R5.Z1

Mapcode Global: WH5VL.P2Z1

Entry Name: Kinnelhead Tower, fortified farmstead & cross incised stones

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8610

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross slab; Secular: bastle

Location: Kirkpatrick-Juxta

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument consists of two substantial oblong stone buildings, situated on a terrace of a boulder-strewn slope. The buildings and adjacent outcrops have been linked by a substantial stone wall to form a roughly square enclosure 35m by 28m, which appears to have been paved. Three crosses are to be found incised on rock outcrops in the near vicinity of the buildings: one within the enclosure and two others situated c. 20m to the SW. The remains represent a small semi-fortified estate centre consisting of one, perhaps two, bastles or pelehouses within an enclosure.

The two buildings are ranged on either side of the slightly raised S half of the enclosure. The principal building, lying to the SE, is an oblong structure some 15m by 8m. The building utilises a natural cleft in a rock outcrop, the sheer sides of which provide the greater part of its ground-floor walls. Above, the walls, though extremely fragmentary, are 1.5m thick, and constructed of mortared rubble masonry. The first floor was a vaulted chamber; the springing of the vault can still be seen in the NW wall. It was entered through a doorway in the NW wall, secured by two drawbars. Due to the topography of the site, the first-floor chamber is entered at exterior ground level. The only other surviving opening is a small window in the S gable, of which only the eastern jamb survives. The vaulted first floor suggests that the structure had at least one upper storey.

The adjacent building was unvaulted, and measures 17m from NW to SE by 7.5m transversely over walls up to 1.6m thick and was also entered directly from the courtyard. It is remarkable for the scale of its surviving masonry, which incorporates some truly massive boulders.

On the rock outcrop beside the entrance to the main building, there is an incised Calvary Cross. A second cross of similar form has been incised on a boulder beside the prominent rock outcrop to the W (NT 0276 0168), whilst higher up on the outcrop itself, and some 5m to the E, there is an incised Greek cross with wedge-shaped arms.

The area to be scheduled includes the two stone buildings, the courtyard wall, the three incised crosses and a surrounding area, which has the potential for the survival of associated archaeology. The area to be scheduled is an irregular quadrangle and has maximum dimensions of 60m N-S and 80m SE-NE, as marked in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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