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Latitude: 56.3285 / 56°19'42"N
Longitude: -3.5352 / 3°32'6"W
OS Eastings: 305166
OS Northings: 716185
OS Grid: NO051161
Mapcode National: GBR 1V.59RB
Mapcode Global: WH5PK.N6S9
Entry Name: Home Farm, moated site, roundhouse, enclosure and pits 200m SE of Green of Invermay
Scheduled Date: 15 March 2000
Last Amended: 22 November 2019
Source: Historic Environment Scotland
Source ID: SM8887
Schedule Class: Cultural
Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse; Secular: enclosure
County: Perth and Kinross
Electoral Ward: Almond and Earn
Traditional County: Perthshire
The monument comprises the buried remains of a moated site, a roundhouse, an enclosure and a scattering of pits. The moated site dates to the medieval period and was built and in use between the 12th and 14th centuries. The roundhouse is likely of later Bronze Age or Iron Age date (around 1600BC to 400AD), while the enclosure and pits are undated. The monument is visible as cropmarks recorded on aerial photographs. It occupies a gentle northwest facing slope, at about 40m above sea level.
The moated site is D-shaped in form. It measures around 60m northwest to southeast by about 38m within ditches 4-6m wide. The straighter northeast side is formed by the steeply sloping edge of a river terrace. There is a clear entrance gap on the southeast, with a possible second gap on the northwest. The roundhouse lies about 135m to the west. It has been recorded as a ring ditch measuring around 13m in overall diameter with an entrance gap on the southwest. The enclosure is rectangular in form and lies to the southeast of the roundhouse. It measures about 39m northwest to southeast by about 32m within a narrow ditch measuring up to about 1m wide. There is a scattering of pits around the enclosures and roundhouse.
The scheduled area is irregular. 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 scheduling extends up to but does not include the stone dyke on the northeast. It specifically excludes the above ground elements of dovecot.
Source: Historic Environment Scotland
The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following ways (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 past as a multi-period site comprising a moated site, roundhouse, enclosure and scattering of pits dating to the prehistoric and medieval periods. In particular it adds to our understanding of the date, use and development of prehistoric and medieval settlements in eastern Scotland.
b. The monument retains structural and other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past. In particular there is significant potential for the survival of buried archaeological deposits. Although no features survive above the ground, the overall plan of the monument, as evidenced through cropmarking visible on aerial photographs, is clear and understandable.
c. The monument is a rare example of a moated site with only around 122 such sites known in Scotland. Only one further monument of similar character can be identified in the local area.
d. The monument is a particularly good example of a roundhouse and rectangular enclosure. They form important components of a wider multi-period complex of sites. They are therefore important representatives of these monument types.
e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding of the past. It can significantly expand our understanding of domestic settlement, agriculture and economy over an extended time period. It can tell us about the character of prehistoric and medieval rural settlement, long term occupation of the landscape as well as the structure and organisation of society and economy more widely during these periods.
f. The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape by its association with a wider cluster of later prehistoric remains. Moated sites are interpreted as local power centres and as such this monument would have been an important component of the wider medieval rural landscape.
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 is the remains of a moated site, a roundhouse, an enclosure and a scattering of pits. All have been recorded as cropmarks on aerial photographs and survive as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. Although no features survive above ground, the overall plan of the monument is clear and understandable.
Small-scale excavation of the D-shaped moated site indicates that it was built and used between the 12th and 14th centuries. The enclosing/ defensive ditch was shown to survive to a depth of 1.5m. Material collapsed within the ditch indicated there was likely a bank on the inner side. A palisade slot that had held a continuous line of timbers packed with stones was uncovered within the interior. This likely formed an internal division. Traces of medieval occupation in the form of deposits containing medieval pottery and compacted spreads of stone and silt were also uncovered in the interior. The enclosure likely functioned as an estate centre with the wide ditches enclosing the timber buildings of a lordly residence. During the excavation, a first or second century AD trumpet headed brooch was recovered from the later medieval plough soil overlying the site. It may indicate earlier activity in this location.
The roundhouse is likely of late Bronze Age or Iron Age date (1500BC – 400AD) and represents the remains of later prehistoric settlement. The rectangular enclosure is undated at present, though it may be associated with the later prehistoric roundhouse and could represent a stock enclosure. The scattering of pits visible around the location of the enclosures and roundhouse are likely related both to the prehistoric and medieval occupation of this location.
The monument displays an extended development sequence representing settlement activity from the later prehistory to the medieval period. There is good potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen within and around the recorded archaeological features.
The moated site has the potential to add to our understanding of form and function of secular medieval high status sites. It can tell us about domestic architecture on such sites as well as changes in fashion and form through the active use of the site. Scientific study of its form and construction and the remains of any structures would enhance our understanding of the character, structure and development sequence of this site. The roundhouse, enclosure and pits can tell us about the long-term occupation of this location. Scientific study of the form and construction of the roundhouse compared with other roundhouses would enhance our understanding of later prehistoric domestic settlement. Study of the rectangular enclosure has the potential to tell us about the differing uses of enclosure during later prehistory.
This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of the development of society and settlement from later prehistory to the medieval period. It can add to our understanding of contemporary land-use and environment. It can tell us about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants, as well as the structure of contemporary society and economy. Study of this monument would enhance our understanding of long-term occupation of the landscape, the development sequence of this site and of later prehistoric and medieval settlements in general.
Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)
The D-shaped moated enclosure represents a rare survival of this type of site; a medieval high status dwelling. Medieval moated sites are relatively rare within Scotland as a whole when compared to the frequency of those recorded in other parts of the UK and beyond. There are around 122 known sites in Scotland compared with around 750 in Ireland and 6350 in England. Only one monument of broadly similar character, the moated site at Ardagie (SM1599, Canmore ID 26671) around 3.5km southeast, can be identified in the local area. Moated sites can mark local centres of lordship during the period in which Scotland became a feudal society during the 12th and 13th centuries. The monument at Home Farm may have been a precursor to the 16th century estate residence of the Old House of Invermay (LB11074; Canmore ID 26546) located around 840m east.
Roundhouses and rectangular enclosures are more common and are found across Scotland. The examples at Home Farm are of particular significance because of their position within a complex of archaeological features ranging in date from later prehistory to the medieval period. They are likely related to the broad scattering of later prehistoric settlement in the area. This includes a palisaded settlement around 170m southwest (SM8868; Canmore ID 26629) and roundhouses about 2.6km west-southwest (SM9159; Canmore ID 68299). They can tell us about the use of the landscape in prehistory and demonstrate the long-term use of this location.
The monument has the potential to enhance and broaden our understanding of the nature and development of settlement and economy from later prehistory to the medieval period both in eastern Scotland and more widely. It can add to our knowledge of social status, settlement hierarchy and changing settlement patterns, as well as important connections between communities during the later prehistoric and medieval periods.
Moated sites are usually constructed in prominent positions, on relatively flat ground, and often incorporate natural steep features within the defences of the enclosure. The moated site at Green of Invermay has been constructed in a prominent position with extensive views to the west and southwest. The northwestern section is formed by the steep slope of the terrace edge and there are views towards the Water of May below. It would have been a prominent feature within its local area.
The roundhouse is also positioned in a prominent location. It is located on a slight rise on the edge of the river terrace with extensive views to the south, southwest and west. It would have been a highly visible feature within the local landscape. In contrast the rectangular enclosure is in a far less prominent position. It is built in a slight dip on the generally level terrace. A slight ridge to the northwest restricts views, though there are good views towards the west and southwest.
Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)
The monument has no known associative characteristics.
Source: Historic Environment Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 26588, 26602, 26591, 26600 (accessed on 04/01/2019).
Coleman, R. and Perry, D. 1997 Moated sites in Tayside and Fife. Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal, vol. 3. pp176-187.
Pollar, T. 2009 Green of Invermay excavations 2009. Data Structure Report. SERF
Pope, R (2015) Bronze Age architectural traditions: dates and landscapes. Scotland in Later Prehistoric Europe. p159-184.
Source: Historic Environment Scotland
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