Ancient Monuments

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West Mains, enclosure and souterrain 265m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath East and Lunan, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6479 / 56°38'52"N

Longitude: -2.5183 / 2°31'5"W

OS Eastings: 368316

OS Northings: 750798

OS Grid: NO683507

Mapcode National: GBR VX.B73F

Mapcode Global: WH8RX.952G

Entry Name: West Mains, enclosure and souterrain 265m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 21 August 1995

Last Amended: 16 January 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6218

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Inverkeilor

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath East and Lunan

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is the remains of an enclosure expected to date to between 1400 BC and AD 400 and a probable souterrain abandoned by AD 400. The enclosure and souterrain lie buried beneath the ploughsoil. The enclosure is visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs; the probable souterrain has been identified by trial excavation. The monument lies at about 20m OD on gently sloping ground immediately S of the steep slope leading down to the Lunan Water.

The enclosure is defined by a ditch about 1m wide and up to 0.6m deep, enclosing an area measuring 56m N-S by 35m transversely. It is roughly rectilinear in shape, though with bowed sides and rounded corners. Trial excavation indicates that the souterrain is at least 5m long, 2.1m wide and 1.6m deep; the S portion has been partly excavated but the N end of the feature has not been defined or investigated.

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 monument was first scheduled in 1995, 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 rural settlement and economy. It is relatively rare as an example of a rectilinear enclosure in close proximity to a probable souterrain and it offers potential to compare occupation of a landscape focus over a long time period. There is high potential for the survival of well-preserved archaeological deposits, as demonstrated by the excavation of a palisaded enclosure 700m to the SW. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with the wider archaeological landscape of unenclosed settlements and enclosures in the lower Lunan Valley. This landscape forms an important concentration of evidence for social and economic change in later prehistoric and medieval Scotland. Our understanding of the distribution and character 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 NO65SE 31. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO65SE0031.


RCAHMS Aerial Photographs B05308, B05310

Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys Aerial Photograph AAS/82/17/R28/6

Alexander, D 1998 'West Mains (Inverkeilor parish), enclosure and souterrain', Discovery Excav Scot, 15.

Coleman R and Hunter, F 2002 'The excavation of a souterrain at Shanzie Farm, Alyth, Perthshire', Tayside Fife Archaeol Jour 8, 77, 79, 80.

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

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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