Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Leuchars Castle, unenclosed settlement 320m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Tay Bridgehead, Fife

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Latitude: 56.3914 / 56°23'29"N

Longitude: -2.8864 / 2°53'11"W

OS Eastings: 345372

OS Northings: 722483

OS Grid: NO453224

Mapcode National: GBR 2M.1CGQ

Mapcode Global: WH7RR.MMQ3

Entry Name: Leuchars Castle, unenclosed settlement 320m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 23 January 1998

Last Amended: 22 August 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7314

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife


The monument is a later prehistoric unenclosed settlement that was occupied probably between 1800 BC and AD 400. The curved foundation trenches of at least 12 roundhouses are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The archaeological remains are not visible at ground level, but lie buried beneath the plough soil. The roundhouses are large, ranging from about 14m to 19m in external diameter. Cropmarks indicating several clusters of pits have also been recorded. The monument lies on relatively flat, low ground about 10m above sea level, 1km N of the town of Leuchars. The monument was originally scheduled in 1998, but the scheduled area needed to be better focussed on the known archaeological remains: the present amended entry rectifies this.

The scheduled area is an irregular shape on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. On the S side, the scheduled area extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to the understanding of later prehistoric settlement in eastern Scotland. It is particularly notable for the unusually high density of roundhouses within a relatively small area. This means that several of the structures may be contemporary and may represent evidence for settlement nucleation. This monument is part of a dense cluster of prehistoric and early historic settlement and funerary remains around Leuchars, which forms a multi-period archaeological landscape of great importance. Our understanding of the distribution and character of later prehistoric settlement in eastern Scotland, particularly the processes by which settlement might become concentrated in one location, would be diminished if this monument were lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO42SE 31.


RCAHMS APs F/6443, F/6444, F/6445

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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