Ancient Monuments

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Calvertsholm Cottages, cairn 315m WNW of

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

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Latitude: 55.0112 / 55°0'40"N

Longitude: -3.1283 / 3°7'42"W

OS Eastings: 327938

OS Northings: 569094

OS Grid: NY279690

Mapcode National: GBR 6BLH.JF

Mapcode Global: WH6Y8.X9HQ

Entry Name: Calvertsholm Cottages, cairn 315m WNW of

Scheduled Date: 7 November 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11947

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Kirkpatrick-Fleming

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises a burial cairn likely to date to the Early Bronze Age, now visible as a turf- and grass-covered circular stone mound. It lies within a large cultivated field on the N side of the Solway Firth at approximately 30m above sea level.

The cairn is approximately 25m in diameter and lies in a cultivated grass field. Cairns are one of several types of burial monument that prehistoric people built as places for their dead throughout the second millennium BC. Loss of part of the earthen cover reveals the cairn itself and parts of what might be the outer kerb. The cairn forms part of a larger group of similar burial sites in the immediate area.

The area to be scheduled is circular 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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument retains the majority of the key field characteristics for its class, which are: stone mounding; an earthen top cover; possible circular kerb setting: and possible burial deposits. The monument therefore has good potential to reveal information about how communities living in SW Scotland during the Bronze Age built and used these sites. Since burial deposits may survive it could provide specific information about how they buried their dead. Underneath the cairn there is an earlier land surface and this can help us understand the environmental conditions present when the cairn was built.

Contextual characteristics

This is one of a group of related monuments and can therefore help us understand the wider setting of Bronze-Age community life here and its links to other surrounding communities. The monument belongs to a geographically widespread and diverse group of early prehistoric burial monuments found in the south-west of Scotland, where archaeologists know of over 300 examples. While they may share some similar characteristics in their construction, position or setting, they often reflect very different traditions when dealing with the dead, and superficial similarities in appearance may mask a range of different local practices.

The cairn is part of a local cluster of burial monuments that are likely to be similar in date, and so their physical inter-relationship is significant. Such cairns often display similar attributes in the landscape: their proximity to watercourses (such as the N-S flowing rivers feeding the northern Solway Firth), their proximity to broadly contemporary monuments (such as stone circles); and a broadly S-facing aspect across the Solway plain. The line of the Kirtle Water seems to have been an influencing factor in the position of several of these cairns, including this example.

Associative characteristics

The south-west of Scotland has benefited from a relatively long tradition of antiquarian interest, mapping and monument conservation. With particular emphasis on 'Druid's temples' and 'tumuli', as they were called, prehistoric burials and ceremonial monuments such as this cairn were afforded protection from an early stage.

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 the nature of death and burial during the Bronze Age in SW Scotland. It has the potential to reveal information about monument construction, funerary practice and the material culture of the societies who buried their dead in such cairns, as well as the environment in which they lived. This monument plays an important part in a much broader understanding about the lives of Bronze-Age people in SW Scotland and the influences upon them locally, across the Solway Firth and perhaps even the Irish Sea. The cairn is an integral component of the Bronze-Age landscape, significant because of its association with ritual monuments (such as stone circles and standing stones) and by its proximity to areas of contemporary agriculture and settlement, connecting those who settled and worked here with their dead. The loss of the monument would affect our future ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscape and its inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NY26 NE 3.

Aerial Photographs:

RCAHMS 1984, A22580, Calvertsholm.




Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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