Ancient Monuments

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Settlement, 130m NNE of Ballendrick House

A Scheduled Monument in Almond and Earn, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3438 / 56°20'37"N

Longitude: -3.4276 / 3°25'39"W

OS Eastings: 311856

OS Northings: 717745

OS Grid: NO118177

Mapcode National: GBR 1Z.49Y0

Mapcode Global: WH6QK.BT23

Entry Name: Settlement, 130m NNE of Ballendrick House

Scheduled Date: 16 February 2001

Last Amended: 26 May 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9446

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Dunbarney

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Almond and Earn

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument is the buried remains of a settlement enclosure probably dating to the Iron Age (around 400BC to 200AD). The monument is visible as cropmarks recorded on oblique aerial photographs. It is sub-rectangular on plan with rounded corners and an entrance on the northwest side. The southeast side is obscured by the modern drive to Ballendrick House. It lies within gently rolling ground at around 15m above sea level, on the floodplain of the River Earn to the north.

The cropmarks, first recorded in 1972, show a roughly rectangular enclosure, truncated on its southeastern corner by the access drive of Ballendrick House. The enclosure measures around 49m north northeast to south southwest by around 45m south southeast to north northwest. On its northwestern side, the enclosure has a slightly bowed shape, in the centre of which a gap is visible on the cropmark, and this may represent an entrance.

The scheduled area is rectangular. Its southeast side is bounded by but does not include the access drive of Ballendrick House. 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 excludes all modern fences and field boundaries.

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 possible example of an Iron Age settlement enclosure. It adds to our understanding of prehistoric society in eastern Scotland and the function, use and development of forts and other enclosed settlements of this period.

b. The monument retains physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. The plan of the monument is clear and understandable through the cropmark evidence and there is significant potential for the survival of buried archaeological deposits. The monument can significantly add to our understanding of domestic settlement, agriculture and economy during the Iron Age. Additionally, the archaeological remains indicated by the cropmarks are likely to hold evidence for the construction, use and abandonment of the settlement.

d. The monument is a good example of a rectilinear enclosure of likely Iron Age date, visible as clearly identifiable cropmarks, and is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. Its enclosure ditches could provide material for carbon dating which when compared with similar monuments could contribute to a better understanding of the chronological development of settlement during this period of Scottish prehistory. Additionally, environmental material surviving within these buried features, particularly the ditches, could also provide information on diet, agricultural practice, local environment and social status of the occupants as well as contemporary economy and society.

f. The monument makes a significant contribution our understanding of the historic landscape by its location and its relationship to other contemporary monuments in the surrounding area. It also has the potential to increase our understanding of settlement hierarchy and changing settlement patterns in the area around Perth and the Tay Valley.

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 oblique aerial photographs and survives as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. It was first recorded in 1972. The monument is a sub-rectangular enclosure, measuring around 49m north northeast to south southwest by around 45m south southeast to north northwest. All four sides of the enclosure are visible on the aerial photographs, although the southeastern corner has been truncated by the access drive of Ballendrick House. No internal features are visible on any of the available aerial photographs.

Although there is no clear evidence for the date of the monument, there is potential that it represents a settlement enclosure of later prehistoric date, probably dating to the Iron Age between around 400BC to 200AD. Excavations of similar enclosures elsewhere for example Carronbridge (scheduled monument number 4093; Canmore ID 65197), Knowes (scheduled monument number 4070; Canmore ID 57720), East and West Brunton in Northumberland) indicate they were built and in use between around 400BC and 200AD. They represent enclosed settlements. These excavations have revealed internal features such as roundhouses and yards, not all of which were visible though cropmarking, as well as complex sequences of development.

Archaeological monuments often contain features that are not visible in aerial photographs and can have well preserved stratified layers of archaeological deposits. There is therefore potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen within the enclosures and within the ditches. 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 and construction techniques compared with other enclosures 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)

Rectangular enclosures have been identified across Scotland. The National Record of the Historic Environment records over 300 enclosures identified through cropmarking in Perth and Kinross alone and around 2,800 across Scotland. This example lies within gently rolling ground on the floodplain of the River Earn to the north. The site lies in the vicinity of several other scheduled prehistoric sites along Strathearn, including the forts at Castle Law (scheduled monument SM661) and Law of Dumbuils (scheduled monument SM9439), a settlement at Broombarns (scheduled monument SM8770) and an enclosure at South Dumbuils (scheduled monument SM9320). The Roman temporary camp at Abernethy (scheduled monument SM9449) also lies around 5km east of the Ballendrick House settlement and may also be contemporary with the occupation and use of the site.

The monument therefore has the potential to enhance and broaden our understanding of the nature, development and the interrelationships of prehistoric settlement, both in the area around Perth 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 later prehistory.

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 28055 (accessed on 07/04/2020).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MPK3200 (accessed on 07/04/2020).

Carne, Hale and Haselgrove, P, D and C. (2004) Traprain Law Environs Project (Whitekirk & Tyninghame; Prestonkirk parishes), enclosure cropmarks, Discovery Excav Scot, vol. 5, 2004. Page(s): 46-7

Hodgson, N. McKelvey, J. and Muncaster, W. (2012) The Iron Age on the Northumberland coastal plain. Excavations in advance of development 2002-2010. Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Johnston, D. et al (1995) Carronbridge, Dumfries and Galloway: the excavation of Bronze Age cremations, Iron Age settlements and a Roman camp, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 124, pp. 233-291. Available at: (accessed on 07/04/2020).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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