Ancient Monuments

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Buckie Bank Cottage, fort 95m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.0515 / 55°3'5"N

Longitude: -3.3166 / 3°18'59"W

OS Eastings: 315983

OS Northings: 573794

OS Grid: NY159737

Mapcode National: GBR 5B80.RZ

Mapcode Global: WH6Y0.09Y8

Entry Name: Buckie Bank Cottage, fort 95m SW of

Scheduled Date: 7 November 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12091

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Hoddom

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises a large promontory fort, likely to be of Iron-Age date. The fort utilises a promontory formed by a stream cutting through an escarpment adjacent to the River Annan at about 40m above sea level, creating a natural defensive position overlooking the confluence of the Water of Milk and the River Annan.

Visible in places as a slight earthwork, and preserved as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs, the fort is defined by two ditches cutting off the neck of the promontory, each likely to have been associated with a rampart. It is preserved partly in an occasionally ploughed field of improved pasture, and partly in mature woodland. The interior of the fort measures approximately 105m NW/SE by 55m transversely, and its edge is defined to the east, south, and west by the break of slope of the promontory. To the north, an inner ditch 5m wide runs for 55m across the neck of the promontory, and its associated rampart can be traced for 5m on the ground within the woodland to the east. This rampart measures about 2m wide by 0.4m high. Approximately 23m outside this ditch lies the outer ditch, which is about 2m wide and runs for about 70m as the promontory widens. No entrance into the fort is evident. A fence runs around the perimeter of the field that occupies about two thirds of the interior of the fort.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon on plan, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area is defined by the extent of the cropmarks to the north, by the 30m contour to the west, south, and south-east, and by the stream to the east. For ease of maintenance, the scheduled area excludes the above-ground elements of the fence within the interior of the monument.

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 is an excellent example of a bivallate promontory fort, likely to be late 1st millennium BC or early 1st millennium AD in date, surviving in an area of light agricultural activity. Although the interior has been cultivated in the past, buried deposits inside the fort may preserve evidence relating to 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 rampart would have lain just inside each of the ditches, and potential exists for preservation of a buried soil beneath the ramparts and also within the ditches, providing evidence of the environment within which Iron-Age people built the fort. The ditches and ploughed-out ramparts may also contain deposits and archaeological features relating to the construction and occupation of the site, and its association with possible surrounding field systems. It is possible that the ploughed-out ramparts and ditches may represent several phases of construction, which may be why a distinct entrance is not evident from the aerial photographs.

Contextual characteristics

This monument has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of forts and defended settlements, particularly those sited on promontories or on low rises in or adjacent to the floors of valleys. This is because most forts that are characteristic of the wider distribution of Iron-Age sites in eastern Dumfries and Galloway are located on the crests of hills at least 250m above sea level. Forts are often located nearby to smaller sites such as scooped or enclosed settlements, suggesting either a potential hierarchy if the sites are contemporary, or reflecting a change in social structure and economy and thus preferred settlement location if the sites are sequential. Comparing and contrasting the monument to other nearby forts (as Iron-Age forts and defended settlements tend to be constructed in close proximity to each other) can enable an understanding of how such sites are positioned within the landscape, as well as provide enhanced contexts for the understanding of Iron-Age economy and structure of society. We can use information gained from the preservation and study of this site to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of Iron-Age forts 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 forts located in slightly atypical locations (i.e. promontories) when compared to the wider Iron-Age defended domestic landscape. It forms an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the Water of Milk and the River Annan. Domestic remains and artefacts from forts have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric society, its architecture, how people lived, where they came from, who they had contacts with, provide us with evidence of native-Roman interaction, and may offer an insight into the function of forts. Archaeological deposits preserved beneath the ploughed-out ramparts and within the ditches 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 on promontories, on the flanks of hills, and along the sides of valleys) within the landscape both in eastern Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland, as well as our knowledge of Iron-Age social structu...

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NY17SE 41.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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