Ancient Monuments

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Gleningle, enclosure 80m north east of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale South, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9818 / 54°58'54"N

Longitude: -3.214 / 3°12'50"W

OS Eastings: 322401

OS Northings: 565922

OS Grid: NY224659

Mapcode National: GBR 5BZT.ZY

Mapcode Global: WH6YF.L1QP

Entry Name: Gleningle, enclosure 80m NE of

Scheduled Date: 16 August 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12001

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Dornock

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale South

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises an oval bi-vallate enclosure measuring approximately 100m by 125m within its widely spaced ditches. Likely to be of Iron-age date, the enclosure is situated at about 20m above sea level on low-lying land adjacent to the Solway Firth. We can interpret it as the remains of a farming settlement: houses, agricultural buildings, areas for keeping animals and undertaking other activities surrounded by enclosing banks and ditches.

Preserved as a buried feature and visible on aerial photographs, the oval enclosure comprises two concentric ditches each about 3m wide and set about 10m apart enclosing an internal area of approximately 100m N/S by 125m E/W. Best defined by aerial photographs in its N half, the line of the ditches is partially visible on the ground as a break of slope. A road crosses the site from WSW to ENE, and a track crosses the enclosure in the north-west to join this road. A second road cuts across the enclosure in the SSW, and a house and garden are situated in the SW corner of the enclosure. The three fields in which the monument is situated have been regularly ploughed in the past, and stock has caused recent erosion around feeding stations placed in the W and S quadrants of the enclosure.

The area to be scheduled is oval on plan, to include the enclosure, its ditches, and an area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area is split into three sections by a series of roads and tracks crossing the site; in each section, the scheduled area extends up to, but does not include the fences bounding the roads and track.

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 bi-vallate defended settlement, likely to date to the late first millennium BC or early first millennium AD, surviving in an area of high agricultural activity. Although the enclosure has been cultivated, evidence relating to domestic structures and economy may be preserved as buried deposits inside the enclosure. It is likely that a bank would have lain between the ditches (and possibly also inside the inner ditch), and potential exists for a buried soil to be preserved both beneath the ploughed-out remains of the bank(s) and within the ditches, providing evidence of the environment within which the settlement was built. The ditches may contain deposits and archaeological features relating to the construction and occupation of the site, and its association with possible surrounding field systems.

Contextual characteristics

This enclosure has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of bi-vallate settlements, particularly those sited in low-lying undefendable areas. Most similar enclosures in eastern Dumfries and Galloway tend to be lie along the sides of valleys and in close proximity to each other. Comparing and contrasting the enclosure to other nearby examples can enable an understanding of how Iron-age farmers positioned such sites within the landscape, as well as provide enhanced contexts to improve our understanding of the Iron-age economy and structure of society. Information gained from the preservation and study of this site can be used to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of Iron-age enclosed settlement across Scotland.

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 a type of settlement that characterises the wider Iron-age domestic landscape. It forms 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 interior of the monument may provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like, and how it was being managed by the prehistoric farmers who lived here. 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 NY26NW 9.


Jones B 1979, ?Aerial reconnaissance, Solway survey; Dumfries and Galloway 1977 to 1979?, DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 3.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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