Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Kirkclaugh Mote,motte

A Scheduled Monument in Dee and Glenkens, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.8421 / 54°50'31"N

Longitude: -4.2845 / 4°17'4"W

OS Eastings: 253396

OS Northings: 552094

OS Grid: NX533520

Mapcode National: GBR HHSX.B54

Mapcode Global: WH3V3.5K09

Entry Name: Kirkclaugh Mote,motte

Scheduled Date: 24 August 1928

Last Amended: 2 May 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1121

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: motte

Location: Anwoth

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Dee and Glenkens

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument consists of a motte and bailey, the site of an early timber castle, positioned above sea cliffs 25m-35m high.

The sub-rectangular motte, or mound, has a summit area measuring 19m by 21m, standing 7m above a ditch, which is 15m to 17m wide. The kidney shaped bailey, or outer enclosure, is 13m to 16m wide and 85m round the outer edge. There are formidable ditches on the landward side. There is evidence of a turf-covered wall along the west edge of the bailey. The bailey is linked to the motte by a small neck of land lower than both motte and bailey which crosses the ditch between them.

The area to be scheduled includes the motte, bailey and associated ditches and is bordered to the N by a drystone dyke (though not including the dyke) to the E by a small burn and to the S by the high tide mark. The area is very approximately rectangular, and measures a maximum of 130m NW-SE by 105m NE-SW, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is a highly unusual arrangement of motte and bailey. Both are clearly defined and take their form from the topography of the cliff top site. It is of interest in the study of coastal strongholds as well as in the study of the use of natural topography in defensive structures. The combination of traces of walling in the bailey and below ground archaeology indicate a potential to provide important information about how this area was used, as well as adding to our knowledge of the construction and use of other similar structures.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NX 55 SW 12.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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