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Hayknowes, settlement 180m north west of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale South, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9779 / 54°58'40"N

Longitude: -3.2945 / 3°17'40"W

OS Eastings: 317246

OS Northings: 565577

OS Grid: NY172655

Mapcode National: GBR 5BFW.KC

Mapcode Global: WH6YD.C4FP

Entry Name: Hayknowes, settlement 180m NW of

Scheduled Date: 7 November 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12092

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Annan

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale South

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises an elliptical bi-vallate enclosure, likely to be of Iron-Age date. It lies at about 10m above sea level on low-lying land adjacent to the River Annan 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 enclosing banks and ditches.

Preserved as a buried feature and visible on aerial photographs, the elliptical enclosure comprises two well-defined ditches enclosing an area measuring approximately 75m in diameter. The ditches are spaced between 6m and 10m apart, with the inner measuring 3m in width and the outer 2m in width. Excavation in the mid 1990s has revealed an entrance through both ditches on the W side of the enclosure, and inside of the inner ditch a single phase gateway was uncovered. This gateway consisted of two gateposts between which a trackway had been laid, and adjacent to one of the gateposts a linear stone-packed trench was interpreted by the excavators as being a socket for a sliding gate. Within the centre of the enclosure, excavation revealed an 11m-diameter hut circle, consisting of a stone-packed ring-groove with internal roof supports, opposing entranceways, and a small annexe. A fence runs across the southern part of the enclosure, and a series of fences and gates cut across the eastern side of the enclosure, the other side of which forms part of the farm curtilage. The field in which the monument lies is currently under pasture, and is regularly ploughed.

The area to be scheduled is a cropped circle on plan to include the remains described 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 fences and gates across the eastern part of the enclosure. For ease of maintenance, the scheduled area also excludes the above-ground elements of the fence that runs across the southern part of the enclosure.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural 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 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 monument has been cultivated, buried deposits inside the enclosure may preserve evidence relating to the domestic structures, 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 each of the ditches, and potential exists for the preservation of a buried soil both beneath the ploughed-out remains of these banks and within the ditches, providing evidence of Iron-Age environment within which people built the enclosure. The ditches may also contain deposits and archaeological features relating to the construction and occupation of the site, and its association with possible surrounding field systems. Excavation has shown the preservation of internal features relating to both an unusual entranceway and to a hut circle within the enclosure.

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. A small rectilinear enclosure overlying an earlier length of ditch, a small circular enclosure with four internal pits, and a section of well-defined droveway lie to the immediate east of the enclosure. 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. 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 enclosed settlements that characterise the wider Iron-Age domestic landscape. It forms an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern along the River Annan and the Solway Firth. Domestic remains and artefacts from settlements not only have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric architecture, but also society, how people lived, where they came from, who they had contacts with, and provide evidence of native-Roman interaction. Buried archaeological deposits 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 NY16NE 24.


Banks I 2002, ?Always the bridesmaid: the Iron Age of south-west Scotland?. In Ballin Smith B and Banks I eds. 2002, IN THE SHADOW OF THE BROCHS: THE IRON AGE IN SCOTLAND, Tempus, Stroud, 31.

Gregory R A 1996, ?Hayknowes (Annan Parish), prehistoric enclosures?, DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 27-28.

Gregory R A 2001, ?Excavations at Hayknowes Farm, Annan, Dumfriesshire?, TRANS DUMFRIESSHIRE GALLOWAY NATUR HIST ANTIQ SOC 75, 2000, 31-7.

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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