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Broats, enclosure 250m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale South, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.0124 / 55°0'44"N

Longitude: -3.1707 / 3°10'14"W

OS Eastings: 325229

OS Northings: 569281

OS Grid: NY252692

Mapcode National: GBR 6B9G.BZ

Mapcode Global: WH6Y8.88CQ

Entry Name: Broats, enclosure 250m N of

Scheduled Date: 7 December 1978

Last Amended: 7 November 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4087

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Kirkpatrick-Fleming

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale South

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises a trapezoidal enclosure measuring approximately 40m E/W by 35m to 40m N/S within a narrow ditch with a wide entrance to the east. Likely to be of Iron-age date, the enclosure is situated at about 50m above sea level on the lower slopes of a small hill overlooking low-lying land adjacent to Kirtle Water and 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 an enclosing bank and ditch. First scheduled on 7 Dec 1978, the monument is being rescheduled to reflect the current practice in relation to scheduling of field systems.

Preserved as a buried feature and visible on aerial photographs, the trapezoidal enclosure comprises a well-defined ditch up to 2m wide enclosing an internal area measuring approximately 40m E/W by 35m to 40m N/S. A 8m-wide entrance is visible to the east and there is the faint indication of a sub-rectangular structure within the W part of the interior. This structure measures approximately 13m NNE/SSW by 7m ENE/WSW, and has a 5m-wide entrance in the west. Adjoining the NW corner, and adjacent to the N, W and S sides of the enclosure, aerial photographs show the ditched boundaries of a well-preserved rectilinear field system. The field in which the monument lies is currently under pasture, and is regularly ploughed.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan to include the enclosure, its ditch, and an area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as well as a small sample of the associated field system, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

Preserved as a negative (buried) feature visible as a cropmark, the enclosure is a good example of a univallate defended settlement with associated field system, likely to date to the late first millennium BC or early first millennium AD, surviving in an area of high agricultural activity. As an unexcavated rectilinear enclosure, we cannot rule out the possibility that the site is medieval rather than later prehistoric. Although the monument has been cultivated, buried deposits inside the enclosure may preserve evidence relating to the potential domestic structure, possible roundhouses, and economy, which may enhance our understanding of the social structures and domestic architecture of the Iron-age people who built and used this monument. It is likely that a bank would have lain just inside of the ditch, and potential exists for the preservation of a buried soil both beneath the ploughed-out remains of the bank and within the ditch, providing evidence of the environment within which Iron-age people built the enclosure. The ditch may also contain deposits and archaeological features relating to the construction and occupation of the site, and its association with the surrounding field system. Many of the ditches of the field system are on the same broad axes as the enclosure, which is the reason that the field system appears to be contemporary, and this is therefore important evidence of the relationship between an enclosed landscape and such settlements.

Contextual characteristics

This monument has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of enclosures and defended settlements, particularly those sited adjacent to 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. From aerial photography archaeologists now recognise that such rectilinear settlements are not as rare as previously thought, and that their distribution complements the surviving evidence in Northumberland. We can use information gained from the preservation and study of this site 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 to Iron-age enclosures that characterise the wider Iron-age domestic landscape. It forms an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along Kirtle Water and 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 ditch, interior of the monument and within the ditch of the possible domestic structure, may provide information about the nature of the contemporary environment, and the use prehistoric farmers made of it. Spatial analysis of similar 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 adjacent to 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 NY26NE 16.


Higham N J and Jones G D B 1975, 'Frontier, forts, and farmers: Cumbrian aerial survey 1974-5', ARCHAEOL J 132, 33.

RCAHMS 1997, EASTERN DUMFRIESSHIRE: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE. Edinburgh: HMSO, 54, 55, 305, 308, Nos. 1021 and 1175.

Welfare H 1980, 'Jigsaw puzzle and dustbin: air photography and the Iron Age in southern Scotland', SCOTT ARCHAEOL FORUM 10, 7.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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