Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Enclosed settlement and roundhouse 220m WSW of Inverdunning House

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.


Latitude: 56.3267 / 56°19'36"N

Longitude: -3.5788 / 3°34'43"W

OS Eastings: 302464

OS Northings: 716047

OS Grid: NO024160

Mapcode National: GBR 1S.5CYG

Mapcode Global: WH5PK.072P

Entry Name: Enclosed settlement and roundhouse 220m WSW of Inverdunning House

Scheduled Date: 23 February 2001

Last Amended: 1 March 2022

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9159

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Dunning

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosed settlement and an unenclosed settlement, both of prehistoric date, that have been recorded as cropmarks on oblique aerial photography. It comprises the remains of two roundhouses, a curvilinear enclosure, at least one souterrain and a linear ditch enclosing the head of the promontory, along with some other unidentified cropmark features. The monument is located on a small promontory overlooking the Dunning Burn on the southern side of Strathearn at around 40m above sea level. 

The western end of the monument is formed by an enclosed settlement. This is bounded on its east by a linear ditch around 40m in length by 4m wide that encloses the western end of the promontory. Within the enclosed area are the remains of a roundhouse, around 8m in diameter, and to the southeast of this are the remains of a souterrain around 9m in length. To the west of this souterrain are two other unidentified features, one a curving feature around 8m in length, that may be a second souterrain, the other a circular feature around 3m in diameter. To the north of the roundhouse is a large curvilinear enclosure, around 20m in diameter. The second roundhouse lies outside the enclosure, around 50m east of the linear ditch, and is larger at around 11m in diameter.

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 above ground elements of all modern field boundaries and the above ground elements of the telegraph poles are excluded.

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 multi-phase settlement, comprising both an enclosed phase and a separate unenclosed roundhouse, identified through oblique aerial photography, and dating to the Iron Age (800BC – 400AD). 

b.   The monument retains structural, architectural, decorative or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past. Buried features such as round houses and souterrains could provide material for radiocarbon dating and environmental analysis as well as artefacts. Detailed study of the roundhouses, souterrains and enclosures can tell us about their construction, use, reuse, repair and abandonment. 

c. The monument includes a rare example of an enclosed settlement within the Perth and Kinross area, where unenclosed settlements are far more common.

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a multi-phase Iron Age settlement with multiple features surviving. These include at least two roundhouses, a souterrain, an additional enclosure and several further unidentified cropmark features. 

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 lifestyle of the inhabitants and the nature of the local economy such as agriculture and trade.

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to today's landscape and/or our understanding of the historic landscape by providing evidence of settlement patterns density, distribution and size of individual settlements; land use and the extent of human impact on the local environment over time.   

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. The settlement is comprised of two main elements; an enclosed settlement containing a roundhouse, souterrain and a curvilinear enclosure with at least two other unidentified cropmark features, and a separate roundhouse outside of the enclosed settlement. These features are overlain by later rig cultivation. The various elements are visible as dark patches on the aerial photography and the separate features are clearly definable.

Roundhouses are a common monument type that originated in the Bronze Age (c.2400BC-700BC) and continued to be used into the Iron Age (c.700BC-AD500). In 2008, it was estimated at around 4,000 roundhouses have been excavated across Britain; that number has increased in the intervening period. Scottish examples include Glen Coy, Arran (Canmore ID: 215297), Ardownie Farm, Angus (Canmore ID: 68212) and Hawkhill, Lunan Bay, Angus (Canmore ID: 35807). These examples are all also elements of unenclosed settlement with souterrains and other associated features.

Souterrains are narrow low roofed underground passages and were likely used for storage. They are mainly stone lined but wooden examples, such as Redcastle, Lunan Bay, Angus (Canmore ID 35800) also exist. Some souterrains, for example Glen Coy and Redcastle were accessed via elaborate entrances within the roundhouses. The majority of souterrains date to the Iron Age, as demonstrated by excavations in the area of the River Tay, at Newmill (Canmore ID 27006) and further inland, northeast of Alyth, at Shanzie (Canmore ID 183018). Consequently, they are a key factor in dating unenclosed settlements to this period. Excavations have revealed a rich assemblage of material such as cattle and sheep bones, plant material such as the grains from oats and barley and pollens associated with an agricultural landscape as well as pottery fragments and tools. The size of souterrains, as indicated from their surviving ground plans, suggests that a large quantity of goods and agricultural surplus was or could have been stored in these underground voids and this points to indications about population, settlement, agriculture and economy in the wider area.

Morphologically, both the enclosed settlement and the separate roundhouse are likely to be prehistoric in date. The exact chronological relationship between the two separate elements of the monument is unclear. Regardless of this, the presence of these features highlights a time depth to this monument, suggesting more than one phase of activity. 

Cropmarked 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 souterrains, roundhouses and within the ditch of the enclosure. 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 similar sites would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site. In addition, It has the potential to tell us about the wider prehistoric landscape; development of the settlement over time; the lifestyle of the inhabitants; the nature of the local economy, for example agriculture as well as trade and contact with other contemporary settlements.

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

Prehistoric settlements are found across Scotland and are a relatively common monument type. Around 70 enclosed settlements are recorded in the National Record of the Historic Environment, of which only 2 lie within Perth and Kinross. Unenclosed settlements are far more common within this area, as there are around 560 recorded in the National Record of the Historic Environment, and half of these, around 280, are located in Perth and Kinross and Angus. The majority of these are in agricultural areas and known through cropmark evidence, in common with this example. Roundhouses are another common site type within Scotland, with more than 500 recorded in the National Record of the Historic Environment, of which around 40 (8%) are within Perth and Kinross.

The monument is located on a small promontory overlook the Dunning Burn. This location is on the southern side of Strathearn. This valley represents a major routeway through this part of Scotland throughout history and is also a highly significant area for prehistoric remains within Scotland. A number of other prehistoric sites from the Neolithic through the Iron Age can be found in close proximity to this example, including a group of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites at Leadketty (Scheduled monument SM9158), a series of ring ditches and pits at Wellhill House (scheduled monument SM8920) and a henge also at Inverdunning House (scheduled monument SM8922). The site is also near the Roman temporary camp at Dunning (scheduled monument SM3675), and may have been occupied at around the same time. 

The monument is a good representative example of its class and a component of the wider contemporary settlement and agricultural landscape. It therefore has the potential to help us understand more of the nature, development and the interrelationships of prehistoric settlement and activity, and the interrelationships between the native Iron Age groups and the incoming Romans, along the Strathearn valley and more widely in Eastern Scotland.

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 26620, 68299 (accessed on 20/01/2022).

Perth and Kinross HER: Reference MPK1940, MPK6350 (accessed on 20/01/2022).


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments 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 for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.