Ancient Monuments

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Redkirkmill, enclosure 50m WSW of

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

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Latitude: 54.9894 / 54°59'21"N

Longitude: -3.0933 / 3°5'35"W

OS Eastings: 330142

OS Northings: 566638

OS Grid: NY301666

Mapcode National: GBR 6BVR.37

Mapcode Global: WH6Y9.GV7F

Entry Name: Redkirkmill, enclosure 50m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 9 November 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12086

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Gretna

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises an oval enclosure now visible as a cropmark. Likely to be of Iron-Age date, the enclosure is situated at about 17m above sea level on 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.

Visible in places as a slight earthwork and preserved as a buried feature visible on aerial photography, the oval enclosure comprises a well-defined ditch up to 3m wide enclosing an internal area measuring approximately 85m NNE/SSW by 65m WNW/ESE. A 13m-wide entrance is visible to the east, and two circular cropmarks in the S part of the interior possibly represent roundhouse stances. The line of the ditch is visible in parts on the ground as a slight earthwork which has been spread by ploughing. A fence line runs N/S across the eastern part of the enclosure, the other side of which are agricultural buildings, a house, and an area of garden. The aerial photographs show the entrance of the enclosure to now lie within the area of garden ground. The field in which the monument lies is currently under pasture, last ploughed in 1946.

The area to be scheduled is a cropped oval on plan to include the enclosure, its ditch, 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 extends up to, but excludes, the fence, buildings, and garden to the east of the monument. The entrance to the enclosure, along with part of its eastern side, lies within the area of garden, and is excluded from the scheduled area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

Preserved as both a slight earthwork and as a negative (buried) feature visible as a cropmark, the monument, the enclosure is a good example of a univallate 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 monument has been cultivated, buried deposits inside the enclosure may preserve evidence relating to the possible roundhouses, other potential domestic structures, 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 possible surrounding field systems.

Contextual characteristics

This monument has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of enclosures and defended 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. Such information has the potential to give us 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 and interior of the monument 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 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 NY36NW 20.



RCAHMS 1997, EASTERN DUMFRIESSHIRE: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE, Edinburgh, HMSO, 55, 303, 308, Nos. 918 and 1185.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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