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Court Knowe, mound 170m east of Gornogrove

A Scheduled Monument in Howe of Fife and Tay Coast, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.2781 / 56°16'41"N

Longitude: -3.2861 / 3°17'9"W

OS Eastings: 320463

OS Northings: 710262

OS Grid: NO204102

Mapcode National: GBR 24.8KP2

Mapcode Global: WH6R0.HGDG

Entry Name: Court Knowe, mound 170m E of Gornogrove

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1936

Last Amended: 19 December 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM790

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: mound (ritual or funerary); Secular: meeting place, thingstead, moo

Location: Strathmiglo

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Howe of Fife and Tay Coast

Traditional County: Fife

Description

The monument comprises a substantial and prominent circular mound, located on a natural knoll at about 80m OD. The monument has been variously described in the past as a motte, a 'seat of judgement' and a natural mound. It is almost certainly either a prehistoric burial mound, or a medieval motte or meeting place, or (perhaps most likely) a prehistoric burial mound which was re-used in medieval times as a motte or meeting place. The monument was first scheduled in 1936 but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the likely archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The mound is about 43m in diameter and stands some 4m above the local ground surface. The mound is almost symmetrical in profile and may have been formed by enhancing a naturally elevated site on the summit of rising ground. The mound appears to be built mostly of earth, although some stones protrude through the surface. In addition, dumps of stone occur around its lower slopes.

The mound may be a prehistoric burial mound, and a shallow depression about 3m in diameter almost at its centre may represent the site of an earlier excavation of a putative chamber. The mound may have been re-used as a meeting place or seat of judgement in medieval times, as suggested by its traditional name, 'Court Knowe'. Alternatively, it may have been a motte, that is, the site of a timber castle preceding the nearby Corston Tower. There is no evidence of recent disturbance of the mound, although it is now partially tree covered.

The mound has been incorporated in the past into a formal designed landscape, with its western edge lined by a curving dyke and a curvilinear fringe of beech trees; and it is crossed E-W by a field boundary which is recorded from the mid 19th century onwards, on all editions of the Ordnance Survey map. To the W, the mound apparently continues in a ploughed field W of the curving dyke, even though the ground level there has been reduced over many years of ploughing by up to 70cm.

The area to be scheduled is circular in shape, 60m in diameter, to include the whole mound and an area around it within which evidence of its original form, construction and subsequent use or uses may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The stone dyke and the post and wire fence above ground level are excluded from the scheduling to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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