Ancient Monuments

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Perdieus Mount, motte, Dunfermline

A Scheduled Monument in Dunfermline Central, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0644 / 56°3'51"N

Longitude: -3.4621 / 3°27'43"W

OS Eastings: 309062

OS Northings: 686696

OS Grid: NT090866

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.PVJB

Mapcode Global: WH5QR.STKT

Entry Name: Perdieus Mount, motte, Dunfermline

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1954

Last Amended: 13 January 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM867

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: motte

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Dunfermline Central

Traditional County: Fife


The monument comprises the remains of a motte, likely to date to the 12th or 13th century AD. The monument is visible as a substantial earthen mound, which stands up to 4.5m high. The mound is approximately oval on plan and measures 30m N-S by 25m transversely at its base. There is a levelled area atop the mound and a smaller platform part-way down its S side. There are indications that the motte was accessed from the NE side originally. The monument is located in a built-up area of Dunfermline, in a low-lying field near to Lady Mill Toll. It lies close to the W bank of the Tower Burn at around 40m above OD.

There is documentary evidence from at least the 16th century for the name, 'Perdieus Mount'. The lands of 'Perdew' (1526), 'Perdewis' (1557-85) and 'Perdeweis' (1610) were described as lying on the S side of lower Dunfermline, on both sides of the Lyne Burn.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of a small wooden shed on the E side of the mound.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

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 dating, construction and functions of mottes as medieval strongholds. It retains its field characteristics to a significant degree, with little sign of later disturbance. This monument can also add to our understanding of the control of land and authority in the development of the medieval burgh of Dunfermline. Its importance is enhanced because of its potential relationship with other important medieval buildings close by, including Dunfermline Palace, Abbey and Malcolm's Tower. The loss of this motte would diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand settlement and land tenure in Dunfermline and medieval Scotland more generally.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NT08NE 30.


Tabraham, C 2005, Scotland's Castles, London: Batsford, 55.

RCAHMS, 1933, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Eleventh report with Inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan, Edinburgh: HMSO, 127-8, no 212.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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