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Calvertsholm, settlement 110m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale East and Eskdale, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.0105 / 55°0'37"N

Longitude: -3.1247 / 3°7'28"W

OS Eastings: 328170

OS Northings: 569019

OS Grid: NY281690

Mapcode National: GBR 6BMH.9N

Mapcode Global: WH6Y8.ZB66

Entry Name: Calvertsholm, settlement 110m N of

Scheduled Date: 7 November 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12128

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Kirkpatrick-Fleming

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosed settlement and associated droveway, visible from the air as a series of cropmarks and on the ground as very low earthworks. The settlement is Iron Age, likely to date to the late 1st millennium BC or early first millennia AD, and forms part of a wider pattern of later prehistoric defensive and domestic structures in eastern Dumfries and Galloway. It lies 400m S of the Kirtle Water, at 25m above sea level.

The enclosure measures a maximum of 90 m N-S by about 120 m transversely and lies on relatively flat ground. It consists of an irregularly-shaped univallate enclosure, comprising a ditch 3m wide, with a 6m-wide entrance-gap on the N end of the E side. Within the enclosure lie the remains of up to five circular structures, most likely roundhouses, each measuring up to 15m in diameter. The droveway, which appears to lead to and/or from the enclosure, runs for at least 550m, its axis orientated WNW-ESE. However, only a section of the droveway, measuring 90m in length, is included in the area to be scheduled. This allows for the preservation of evidence for the chronological relationship between the enclosure and droveway.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area is bounded on the north-west, north-east and south by a fenceline. This and the above-ground remains of an electricity transformer pole and its stays are specifically excluded from the scheduling, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument is a particularly good example of a large, univallate enclosed settlement and associated droveway, likely to date to the late 1st millennium BC or early 1st millennium AD, possibly including the period of Roman occupation of the area. Despite having been ploughed nearly flat in the modern period, cropmarks in aerial photographs indicate that remains survive under the topsoil and very slight traces of the rampart can be seen on the ground.

The monument has considerable potential to enhance understanding of Iron-Age domestic, defensive and ritual activity. The complex remains at Calvertsholm represent the accumulated remains of repeated construction on and occupation of a single site and therefore have the potential to provide information relating to a relatively long period of time. Given the site's location, it seems likely that people designed the ditches to enclose or exclude stock, or define the area of settlement, rather than to provide defence. The survival of roundhouses indicates the potential for evidence relating to architectural techniques and everyday life in the later prehistoric period to be preserved. In addition, the droveway and associated remains retain the potential to enhance understanding of livestock management in the later prehistoric period and in particular its relationship to crop husbandry.

Contextual characteristics

This monument has the capacity to contribute to a better understanding of forts and enclosed settlements, and in particular the role of non-defensive settlement enclosures in the later prehistoric settlement pattern. The low-lying location of Calvertsholm, close to a river, suggests that agricultural activities were of great importance to its builders. The site's proximity to two prehistoric burial cairns, which lie within 300m of the enclosure, enhances its significance. Indeed, the droveway appears to bend to avoid the southernmost cairn, perhaps indicating the respect given in the Iron Age to earlier ritual monuments.

Later prehistoric droveways are rare in Scotland but there is a concentration of them in eastern Dumfries and Galloway. The significance of Calvertsholm is therefore enhanced by its proximity to the later prehistoric settlement enclosures of Douglas Farm (RCAHMS No. NY36NW 18) and Whinnyrig (RCAHMS No. NY36NW 30), less than 4km to the east, both of which have droveways visible from the air in cropmarks. Spatial analysis of these and other settlement sites in the region may further our understanding of settlement location, the structure of society, and the Iron-Age economy. In eastern Dumfries and Galloway such enclosures may also provide evidence of native-Roman interaction. We can therefore use information gained from the preservation and study of these sites together to gain an insight into Iron-Age enclosed settlement across Scotland.

National importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the past, in particular Iron-Age enclosed settlements and associated remains. This monument is a good example of a settlement type that characterises the wider Iron-Age domestic landscape, forming an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the Kirtle Water. The survival of field characteristics and its proximity to two other sites with droveways enhances this potential. Domestic remains and artefacts from settlement enclosures have the potential not only to tell us about wider prehistoric architecture, but also society, how people lived, where they came from, who they had contacts with, and may offer an insight into the function of such settlements. Spatial analysis of sites may inform our understanding of patterns of landholding and the expansion of settlement. Its loss would seriously impede our ability to underst...

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as Cavertsholm, Settlement; Linear Cropmark; Field-System, NY26NE5. Dumfries and Galloway Sites and Monuments Record record the monument as Calvertsholm, linear feature; field system; settlement, MDG8976.


Mercer R et al 1997, KIRKPATRICK FLEMING, DUMFRIESSHIRE: AN ANATOMY OF A PARISH IN SOUTH WEST SCOTLAND, History and Archaeology of Kirkpatrick Fleming Parish 6.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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