Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Souterrain, Eastern Cemetery, Arbroath

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath East and Lunan, Angus

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Latitude: 56.5711 / 56°34'15"N

Longitude: -2.5808 / 2°34'50"W

OS Eastings: 364408

OS Northings: 742279

OS Grid: NO644422

Mapcode National: GBR VV.N4KN

Mapcode Global: WH8S8.B38B

Entry Name: Souterrain, Eastern Cemetery, Arbroath

Scheduled Date: 12 March 1997

Last Amended: 22 August 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6641

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: souterrain, earth-house

Location: Arbroath and St Vigeans

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath East and Lunan

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is part of a stone-lined souterrain of the later Iron Age, in use probably between around 250 BC and AD 400. It was discovered in 1932 and partially excavated, but was filled in during the 1990s. The position of the NE end of the souterrain is now visible as a shallow depression in the ground surface; the SW end extends beneath 20th-century graves and is not included in this scheduling. The portion of the souterrain that is scheduled measures 6.7m long by 1.2m wide. The monument stands within Arbroath's Eastern Cemetery, lying about 40m above sea level on the NW side of a clay knoll. The monument was originally scheduled in 1997, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: 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 scheduling extends up to but excludes a row of 20th-century graves.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument can significantly enhance understanding and appreciation of later Iron Age settlement, particularly the way that agricultural products and surpluses were stored. The souterrain's masonry walls were exposed during the 20th century, demonstrating that the stone lining survives and preserves features such as indications of corbelling and a narrow entrance passage at the NW end. This monument is important as a relatively well-preserved and representative example of its type: other souterrains discovered recently in the region are either known only as cropmarks or have been excavated and completely removed. Our understanding of the character and distribution of souterrains and the manner in which they might be adapted and renovated in later centuries would be diminished if this monument were lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO64SW 17. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO64SW0017.


Wainwright, F T, 1963 The Souterrains of Southern Pictland. London.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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