Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Drumcross, enclosure 140m WSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank, Renfrewshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 55.9094 / 55°54'33"N

Longitude: -4.4868 / 4°29'12"W

OS Eastings: 244655

OS Northings: 671275

OS Grid: NS446712

Mapcode National: GBR 3H.0M40

Mapcode Global: WH3NS.1QQM

Entry Name: Drumcross, enclosure 140m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 1 March 2011

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12806

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Erskine

County: Renfrewshire

Electoral Ward: Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank

Traditional County: Renfrewshire


The monument comprises an enclosure, visible from the air as a circular cropmark, which probably dates from the later prehistoric period. The monument is located in rolling farmland at 30m above sea level and around 2km WSW of the River Clyde.

Cropmarks represent negative archaeological features, the fills of which retain more moisture than the surrounding subsoil, resulting in enhanced growth of the crops above. On aerial photographs the visible traces of the enclosure represent a circular ditch. The enclosure measures around 30m in diameter over the ditch, which is around 2m wide. A clearly defined entrance, some 4.5m wide, is located on the west side of the monument.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan to include the visible remains of the monument, as well as an area around it within which evidence relating to its construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying plan.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument is visible as a well-defined cropmark within cultivated land. It is visible on three aerial photographs taken in 1977. These photographs clearly show a circular area enclosed by a single ditch with one entrance. It is probable that the creation of the ditch formed a bank of upcast, most likely situated within the circuit of the ditch. The situation of the monument and the insubstantial single ditch may indicate that the primary purpose of the enclosure was unlikely to have been defence. No internal features are apparent on the aerial photographs. The single appearance of the cropmark, after the prolonged drought of 1976, may indicate that the feature is deeply buried, which means there is the potential for internal features to be preserved beneath a thick layer of accumulated top soil. Based on its form and size, the monument is interpreted as an enclosure of later prehistoric date. It is probably an enclosed domestic site, such as a settlement or stock enclosure.

The clarity of the cropmark and the potential depth of any associated features beneath the top soil indicate a high potential for the survival of archaeological deposits and the remains of structures, together with artefact and ecofact assemblages on and around the site. The waterlogged nature of the ground also indicates a high potential for good preservation of organic remains. Specifically, major negative features, such as the ditch, are likely to preserve archaeologically significant deposits within their fill. These features have the potential to enhance our understanding of the construction and use of the monument and, if it is a settlement, details of the domestic architecture, and activities within. They also have the capacity to inform our understanding of the final phase of use of the monument and its eventual abandonment. Any artefacts may also have the potential to further our understanding of interaction with other communities in the area and contact with incoming peoples, such as the Romans. Upstanding elements of the monument, such as the associated bank, may have been constructed over contemporary soils. Where these buried soils survive, they have the potential to inform our understanding of the environment in which the monument was constructed and of land uses of the time.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is located in a slight linear hollow at around 30m above sea level. The former course of the Craigton Burn, now canalised and diverted, is located 500m to the SSE. The relatively flat topography ensures good views in all directions, though now obscured by trees to the west side. This part of Scotland has few known lowland prehistoric sites, and only six survive as cropmarks. This may be a result of later unsympathetic land use and the spread of urban areas, but may also reflect a lower original concentration of such sites. There are two other very similar sites in the region of identical form, both visible as cropmarks. The closest of these is situated 985m to the NW, at Ritchieston, at around 40m above sea level. This has a diameter of 33m and an entrance on the west side, 6.4m wide. The other example is located 10km to the SSE at around 25m above sea level. This has a diameter of some 60m, with an 8.5m wide entrance on the SE side.

Excavations at similar cropmark sites have revealed the potential for well-preserved archaeological deposits and features to survive. At Shiels, in the parish of Govan around 10km to the SE, an oval enclosure visible as a cropmark was excavated in 1973-4 and revealed evidence for at least one rectangular structure and several possible roundhouses, none of which were apparent on the aerial photographs. Radiocarbon dating indicated that the site had been in use from the Iron Age into the early historic period. To the east of Shiels, another cropmark enclosure, this time with an enclosing circuit of three enclosing ditches, was excavated in 2001. Again, domestic structures were discovered within the interior which had not been apparent on aerial photographs.

Settlements are the most common form of monument to survive from the later prehistoric period and, in SW Scotland, the most common recorded type of later prehistoric site is enclosures. The nature of the development of settlement and the relationship between different types of settlement is a major area of current research in southern Scotland. The nature and functions of enclosed sites is also little understood, although evidence would suggest that the majority of these enclosures were not in fact suitable for defence.

Further analysis of this monument and comparison with similar monuments in the region may prove whether or not they are contemporary and provide evidence of a system of settlement hierarchy. Spatial analysis of unenclosed settlements and other settlement types in the region may further our understanding of settlement location, changes in architectural practice through time, the structure of society, and economy. The monument has the potential to further our understanding of the nature of enclosed settlement. We can use information gained from this site to gain wider knowledge of later prehistoric enclosed settlement across Scotland.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to an understanding of later prehistoric sites. Specifically, this monument has the capacity to inform us about a particular settlement type, which characterises certain parts of the later prehistoric landscape and forms an intrinsic element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern in SW Scotland. 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 and who they had contacts with. The old ground surfaces sealed by upstanding remains can provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like, how the farmers who lived there managed it, and how field systems may be related to structures. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date and the capacity it has to inform us about the nature of relationships between these monuments. Spatial analysis of sites may inform our understanding of patterns of landholding and the expansion of settlement in this period. The loss or diminution of this monument would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape, both within Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire and in other parts of Scotland, as well as our knowledge of later prehistoric social structure, economy and building practices.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The Royal Commission on Historical and Ancient Monument for Scotland records the monument as NS47SW 43. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service Sites and Monuments Records gives this monument eh index number 7917.

Aerial photographs used:

RCAHMS 1977 RE1060

RCAHMS 1977 RE1061

RCAHMS 1977 RE1062


Alexander, D 1996 Prehistoric Renfrewshire: Papers in Honour of Frank Newall. Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

Alexander, D Forthcoming. The Iron Age of West Central Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.