Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wester Kinnear, bank barrow and ring ditch 325m west of

A Scheduled Monument in Tay Bridgehead, Fife

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Latitude: 56.3922 / 56°23'31"N

Longitude: -2.9777 / 2°58'39"W

OS Eastings: 339739

OS Northings: 722642

OS Grid: NO397226

Mapcode National: GBR 2J.18YT

Mapcode Global: WH7RQ.7L9J

Entry Name: Wester Kinnear, bank barrow and ring ditch 325m W of

Scheduled Date: 23 November 1999

Last Amended: 28 November 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6907

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cursus/bank barrow

Location: Kilmany

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife


The monument is the remains of a Neolithic bank barrow (a rare type of ritual monument dating to between 4500 BC and 2500 BC), and a ring ditch at its NE end which may be a round barrow of Neolithic or Bronze Age date (from sometime between 4500 BC and 800 BC). These features are buried beneath the plough soil and visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The remains of the Neolithic barrow comprise a long, narrow ditched enclosure with rounded ends. The ditch itself varies from 1-2m wide and defines an area measuring around 137m WSW-ENE by 6.5m transversely. The possible round barrow appears to respect the bank barrow and is located immediately beyond its ENE end. The ring ditch is about 1.5m wide and it defines a sub-circular area about 8m in diameter, with a possible opening to the NE. The monument lies about 35m above sea level on a natural terrace above the Motray Water, some 240m to the SE. The monument was first scheduled in 1999, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

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. On the SE side, the scheduling extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the post-and-wire fence with wooden gate that crosses the scheduled area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of early prehistoric ritual monuments in Scotland. The cropmarks indicate that the site retains the parallel ditches regarded as characteristic of a rare type of Neolithic long barrow, together with a ring ditch which may be an associated round barrow. It is highly likely that important deposits will survive in the ditches that can enhance our understanding of the character, function and chronology of Neolithic barrows. When in use, the bank barrow would have formed an important and prominent part of the prehistoric landscape, and its presence here may have influenced the positioning and nature of later activities over millennia. Our understanding of the dating, distribution and character of early prehistoric ritual monuments in Scotland would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO32SE 49.

Arial photographs used: RCAHMS A22169, A22170


Brophy, K 1999 'The cursus monuments of Scotland'. In Barclay, A and Harding, J (eds) Pathways and Ceremonies: the Cursus Monuments of Britain and Ireland, Oxford: Oxbow, 125.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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