Ancient Monuments

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Dinwoodie, settlement 425m east of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1973 / 55°11'50"N

Longitude: -3.402 / 3°24'7"W

OS Eastings: 310855

OS Northings: 590121

OS Grid: NY108901

Mapcode National: GBR 48PB.8Q

Mapcode Global: WH6X5.QM6K

Entry Name: Dinwoodie, settlement 425m E of

Scheduled Date: 31 March 2011

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12661

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: scooped settlement

Location: Applegarth

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire

Description

Dated 1822; plain Georgian, 2 storeys. Rendered; slate roof. Rolled skew-puts, one bearing date "1822". 3 doorways with Doric pilasters, architrave, & cornice. Outside stair and later additions to rear.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

This is a well-preserved lowland example of an enclosed scooped settlement, which has largely survived the impacts of agriculture since its abandonment. It contains the characteristic features of a platform cut, enclosing bank and individual houses, and has the high potential to retain buried deposits from its construction and use. The remains can tell us much about this particular style of settlement and the techniques used to build them. Records indicate that there are two types of building stances present: a circular (later prehistoric) style and a square (probably historic) style, and this suggests a long sequence of use and re-use at the site. The immediate surrounds are likely to contain buried deposits from the domestic and agricultural activities of the settlement and its adjacent land.

Contextual characteristics

This is an interestingly small example of its class, a specific style of later prehistoric enclosed settlement of which over 180 are known of in S Scotland. Excavated examples date to the Iron Age with reused examples continuing into the later first millennium AD. They are found widely throughout E Dumfries and Galloway, where they tend to occur in clustered intervals along the sides of valleys.

What makes this monument all the more interesting beyond its architectural and archaeological character is its position in the wider landscape and its proximity to similar, contemporary settlement. The position of these scooped settlements appears to be influenced by the proximity of agriculturally viable land for cropping and animal husbandry (and possibly shelter from prevailing weather) and not the defensive qualities that other, often larger settlements seem to favour. This is the case at Dinwoodie where the fertile low-lying land has been quite densely colonised, presumably to exploit its agricultural resources (there are at least six enclosure-type monuments within 2km of this monument). There is also a wider landscape context to these lowland domestic settlements (whether enclosed or not) where they appear to co-exist with higher, larger (and probably defensive) enclosed settlements (such as the fort on nearby Broomhillbank Hill). It is clear that a wider system of organised land management was in place at the time the site was in use.

In some cases, scooped settlements overlie earlier defensive enclosures and this provides an interesting contrast to the situation at Dinwoodie where the opposite seems to have taken place. The squared building footprints recorded in the interior of the enclosure suggest a later re-use of the site, enhancing the interest and value of this site.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the form and function of buildings and settlement that characterise the later prehistoric landscapes of S Scotland. It retains a number of key field characteristics in the structures, artefacts and ecofacts that are likely to survive and this can help us build up a picture of the daily lives, routines and agricultural economies of the communities that built the settlement and lived here. The old ground surface sealed by the perimeter banks and other upstanding remains may provide information about the nature of the contemporary environment when the settlement was first built. It contributes to the overall landscape character of lowland SW Scotland and its loss would significantly affect our ability to place domestic agricultural settlement in the wider context of later prehistoric society in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography
No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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