Ancient Monuments

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Hurkledale, enclosure 400m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale South, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9848 / 54°59'5"N

Longitude: -3.3616 / 3°21'41"W

OS Eastings: 312964

OS Northings: 566425

OS Grid: NY129664

Mapcode National: GBR 4BZS.0W

Mapcode Global: WH6Y5.BYGZ

Entry Name: Hurkledale, enclosure 400m SW of

Scheduled Date: 27 August 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11740

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Cummertrees

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale South

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises a sub-circular ditched enclosure with evidence of internal features, visible only as a cropmark, situated in a field 300m south-west of the farm at Hurkledale. Likely to be of Iron Age date, we can interpret the enclosure as the remains of a later prehistoric farming settlement: house(s), agricultural building(s), area(s) for keeping animals and undertaking other activities surrounded by an enclosing bank and ditch.

The enclosure measures approximately 60m NE/SW, and 50m NW/SE, with the cropmark indicating the ditch to be up to 3m wide, with an entrance to the NNE. A large dark mark in the interior may be the remains of a scooped yard where animals could be kept. Nothing is visible on the ground, except that the level of the field where the enclosure sits is lower than the rest of the field.

The area to be scheduled is a clipped circle, centred on the middle of the enclosure, to include the enclosure and an area around it within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area extends up to, but does not include, the fence to the SE of the monument.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

As a negative (buried) feature visible in the form of a cropmark on a range of aerial photographs, the enclosure is a good example of a univallate defended settlement that includes evidence of internal features. It is likely that a bank would have lain inside of the ditch, and potential exists for a buried soil to be preserved both beneath the ploughed-out remains of the bank and within the ditch, providing evidence of the environment within which the settlement was built. The scooped yard may provide evidence of Iron-age farming life, through the preservation of deposits relating to agricultural practices. Lack of subsoiling and infrequent ploughing indicates that there is potential for the preservation of archaeological features and artefacts relating to the construction and occupation of the site.

Contextual characteristics

This enclosure has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of univallate settlements, particularly those sited in low lying undefendable areas. Most similar enclosures in eastern Dumfries and Galloway tend to be built along the sides of valleys. Comparing and contrasting the enclosure to other nearby examples (as scooped enclosures tend to lie in close proximity to each other) can enable an understanding of how such sites are positioned within the landscape, as well as provide contexts for economy and society.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the types of settlement that characterise the wider Iron Age domestic landscape. They form an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the Solway Firth. Domestic remains and artefacts from settlements have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric society, its architecture, how people lived, where they came from, who they had contacts with, and provide evidence of native-Roman interaction. Archaeological deposits preserved within the ditches and scooped yard may provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like, and how prehistoric farmers used it. Spatial analysis of sites may inform our understanding of patterns of landholding and the expansion of settlement. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments (particularly those in low lying undefendable locations) within the landscape both in eastern Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland, as well as our knowledge of Iron Age social structure, economy, and building practices.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NY16NW 14.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS, 1983 DF 5959; DF 5960.

RCAHMS, 1984 A 22718; A 22719; A 22720; A 22721; A 22723; A 22724.

CUCAP, 1962 DF 2668 PO.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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