Ancient Monuments

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Ironshill, unenclosed settlement and cropmarks 290m west of

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath East and Lunan, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6417 / 56°38'30"N

Longitude: -2.5389 / 2°32'20"W

OS Eastings: 367044

OS Northings: 750115

OS Grid: NO670501

Mapcode National: GBR VW.QNB0

Mapcode Global: WH8RW.ZB47

Entry Name: Ironshill, unenclosed settlement and cropmarks 290m W of

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1994

Last Amended: 16 January 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6056

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Inverkeilor

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath East and Lunan

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of a later prehistoric settlement dating to between 1800 BC and AD 400 and a probable round barrow built before 700 BC. The remains lie buried beneath the ploughsoil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The monument lies around 20m above sea level overlooking the Lunan Water to the N.

A dark crescent-shaped cropmark indicates the position of a roundhouse 17m in diameter with a partly sunken floor. A dark sub-circular cropmark 20m to the NW indicates a probable second roundhouse at least 10m in diameter. To the E, a narrow gully about 0.8m wide encloses a circular area 16m in diameter with a central pit. The pit and lack of evidence for an entrance suggest that this is a barrow with an intact central burial. The monument lies on the NW fringe of the dense landscape of prehistoric settlement known around the modern farms of Ironshill and Newbarns.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan as shown in red on the accompanying map. It includes 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. On the W side, the scheduled area extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence. 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 add to our understanding of prehistoric house construction and domestic organisation and because of its association with the wider landscape of prehistoric settlement in this part of the Lunan Valley. It is part of a rare and significant concentration of settlement that provides rich evidence for social and economic change in eastern Scotland in the first millennia BC and AD. The survival of roundhouses in close proximity to a probable barrow is rare and the roundhouses have partly sunken floors, indicating high potential for excellent preservation of artefacts and environmental evidence. Our understanding of the chronology, character and distribution of later prehistoric settlement would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Other Information

RCAHMS records the monument as NO64NE 27, 53. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO64NE0053.


RCAHMS Aerial Photographs AN3533, AN3535, AN5345, C72246

McGill, C, 2003, 'The excavation of a palisaded enclosure and associated structures at Ironshill East, near Inverkeilor, Angus', Taysife and Fife Archael Jour, 9, 14-33.

Pollock, D, 1997, 'The excavation of Iron Age buildings at Ironshill, Inverkeilor, Angus', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 127, 339-358.

RCAHMS 1978, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Lunan Valley, Montrose Basin, Angus District, Tayside Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 4, Edinburgh, 18, no 109.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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