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Friock Mains, pit alignment 270m WNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim, Angus

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Latitude: 56.634 / 56°38'2"N

Longitude: -2.6778 / 2°40'40"W

OS Eastings: 358520

OS Northings: 749336

OS Grid: NO585493

Mapcode National: GBR VS.P01L

Mapcode Global: WH7QP.VJ14

Entry Name: Friock Mains, pit alignment 270m WNW of

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1994

Last Amended: 20 October 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6092

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: pit alignment (ritual or funerary)

Location: Kirkden

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of a prehistoric pit alignment dating to the Iron Age or earlier (before AD 400). It also includes a ditch that appears to follow the same course as the pit alignment and two other curving features that may be souterrains. The remains lie buried beneath the ploughsoil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs.

The pit alignment is oriented NE-SW. The most regular part of the feature lies towards the SW end where eight pits, each some 2m in diameter, form a straight line about 30m long. To the NE, the line of pits turns very slightly to the S and here the individual pits appear less evenly distributed. A curving ditch appears to continue NE from the pits and intersects with one of the two potential souterrains. The monument lies at about 50m OD in undulating farmland surrounded by a bend in the Vinny Water, just above and parallel with the break of slope down to the river.

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 all electricity poles and the overhead wires. The monument was first scheduled in 1994, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to knowledge and understanding of prehistoric pit alignments. This monument is well defined on aerial photographs and the pits have high potential to preserve significant archaeological deposits that can tell us about the date and use of the alignment. This potential has been demonstrated by excavation of a similar pit alignment at Warren Fields, Aberdeenshire, where some pits proved to date to around 8000 BC (Mesolithic period), before the advent of farming in Scotland, and individual pits had been cut, partially filled and then re-cut. Pit alignments are also known from the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age, with Iron Age examples often regarded as agricultural boundaries or territorial divisions. This Friock Mains pit alignment is a significant feature in the prehistoric landscape and supplements the pit-defined cursus monuments that cluster in this part of Angus. It is part of a wider landscape of settlements and ritual/funerary monuments in the Lunan Valley that forms an important concentration of evidence for social and economic change in E Scotland from around 4000 BC to 1000 AD. Our understanding of the dating, function, distribution and character of prehistoric pit alignments would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO54NE 21. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO54NE0020.


RCAHMS Aerial Photographs AN3586, AN3588

Murray H K, Murray J C and Fraser S 2009, A tale of the unknown unknowns: a Mesolithic pit alignment and a Neolithic timber hall at Warren Field, Crathes, Aberdeenshire. Oxford.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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