Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Timber circle and pit circle, 460m ESE of Leadketty Farm

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.

Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3206 / 56°19'14"N

Longitude: -3.5837 / 3°35'1"W

OS Eastings: 302147

OS Northings: 715372

OS Grid: NO021153

Mapcode National: GBR 1S.5QW8

Mapcode Global: WH5PJ.XDND

Entry Name: Timber circle and pit circle, 460m ESE of Leadketty Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 2001

Last Amended: 24 November 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8921

Schedule Class: Cultural

Location: Dunning

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Traditional County: Perthshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of two pit circles dating to the Neolithic (4100BC - 2500BC), recorded as a series of subcircular cropmarks on aerial photographs and survive as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. The monument is located in low lying and flat farmland east of the Dunning Burn at around 35m above sea level.

The pit circles are aligned north - south. The northern circle has been interpreted as the remains of a timber circle. It has eight pits ranging in size from 1.2m to 1.8m wide and encloses an area of around 15m2. The southern circle has seven pits, ranging in size from 1.2m to 1.3m wide and encloses an area of around 15m2.

The scheduled area is circular measuring 47m in diameter clipped by a modern post and wire fence on its western side. 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. The scheduled area extends up to but does not include the modern post and wire 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 as a timber circle and pit circle, identified through oblique aerial photography and dated from the Neolithic period (4100BC - 2500BC).

b.   The monument retains structural, architectural, decorative or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. As buried features the pits can provide material for radiocarbon dating and environmental analysis as well as artefacts. Detailed study can tell us about prehistoric land use; ritual activity; the creation of pottery and local environmental conditions during the Neolithic period.

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a timber circle and pit circle in close proximity. They are clearly defined on aerial photography and likely to date to the Neolithic period. This sit is therefore an important representative example of this monument type.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding of the past. For example, it has the potential to tell us about the development of ritual practices in prehistory, in particular the Neolithic period.

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape by providing evidence for land-use and ritual activity. In particular, it could tell us about the choice of location for such activities and how this relates to wider land use.

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)

The monument the remains of two pit circles dating to the Neolithic (4100BC - 2500BC) recorded as a series of subcircular cropmarks on aerial photographs and survive as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. Other cropmarks shown on the transcription include medieval rig and furrow cultivation.

The northern pit circle has been interpreted as the remains of a timber circle. Timber circles date to the later Neolithic period and were built using wooden posts placed into spaced pits which were then back filled with earth and packing stones. The area they enclosed is thought to have been used for a range of religious and ritual activities and are often compared to the more well-known stone circles. In Scotland they can range in size from 3m to 75m across. The southern pit circle may have been a timber circle though its interpretation is less confident. The pits may have had ritual significance to those creating them. A comparable example may be the enclosures at Bannockburn East (Canmore ID 47255) where one was found to be defined by pits and the other by posts.

Archaeological monuments often contain features that are not visible in aerial photographs and can have well-preserved stratified layers of archaeological deposits. Excavation of timber circles such as Balfarg (Canmore ID 29990) and Arran, Machrie Moor 1 (Canmore ID 39703) have found Neolithic pottery, flint, pitchstone, burnt bone and charcoal. There is potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including use and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains as well as material for radiocarbon dating. It has the potential to provide information about the function and date of the features and their relationship to each other. Study of the monument's form, construction techniques and materials compared with other timber circles and pit circles would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site.

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

The monument sits on an area of flat ground around 35m above sea level. To the west is the Dunning Burn. There are over 80 timber circles identified through cropmarking and excavation in Scotland. The majority located in Perth and Kinross have been identified through cropmarking. Timber circles can be found alone but some are associated with or located close to other monuments of similar date. These include other timber circles, pit circles, henges, stone circles, barrows and palisaded enclosures. The timber circle and pit circle at Leadketty sit close to each other with only 1.5m between the closest pits. Examples of timber circles sited close to each do exist but are not usually so close for example; two timber circles (one possible) around 45m apart at Eweford in East Lothian (Canmore ID 76175) and two timber circles around 32m apart at Gateside in Fife, one within a round barrow and the other free-standing (Canmore ID 27793).

Though Leadketty does not appear to be part of a larger monument there are other prehistoric sites of religious or ritual significance in the immediate area. Examples include: Pit Alignment, 160m SE of Wellhill House (scheduled monument SM8918 - 610m northeast); Leadketty, enclosures, ring-ditches, square barrow & pits 600m NW of (scheduled monument SM9158 – 620m north); Inverdunning House, henge 140m S of (scheduled monument SM8922 - 775m northeast); Ring ditch and pit group, 180m ENE of Wellhill House (scheduled monument SM8920 – 727m northeast); Barrows, 630m and 860m NE of Nether Garvock (scheduled monument SM8773 1.2km east-northeast).

Leadketty contributes to the evidence for early settlement and ceremony in the Earn valley; an area that was a focus for such activity from the Neolithic to at least the Early Medieval period (AD 400 – AD1000). There is the potential to study the monument in relation to these other sites. This could tell us about the choice of location and development of ritual practices in prehistory and how they relate to wider land use and settlement patterns.

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

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 129352 (accessed on 07/10/2021).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MPK8763 (accessed on 07/10/2021).

Millican, K. 2007 'Turning in circles: a new assessment of the Neolithic timber circles of Scotland' in The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 137 p 5-34. [Available at: https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/psas/volumes.cfm ] (Accessed on 21/10/2021).

Wilson, D. 2000 Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists. Stroud, Tempus.

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/129352/


HER/SMR Reference

MPK8763

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk 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 AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.