Ancient Monuments

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Boysack, enclosures and unenclosed settlement 230m south west and 280m SSE of

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath East and Lunan, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6304 / 56°37'49"N

Longitude: -2.6221 / 2°37'19"W

OS Eastings: 361934

OS Northings: 748897

OS Grid: NO619488

Mapcode National: GBR VT.X70P

Mapcode Global: WH8RV.PLLY

Entry Name: Boysack, enclosures and unenclosed settlement 230m SW and 280m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1994

Last Amended: 5 March 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5986

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive); Prehistoric ritual and funera

Location: Inverkeilor

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath East and Lunan

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of three prehistoric or early historic pit-defined enclosures, an unenclosed settlement of roundhouses, two rectangular timber structures and at least one souterrain. This is a multi-period site and the maximum date range for its various elements is around 4500 BC to AD 800. The remains lie buried beneath the ploughsoil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The monument lies on level ground close to the SW bank of the Lunan Water at around 35m above OD.

The pit-defined enclosure towards the centre of the scheduled area measures 46m NW-SE by 12m transversely and its elongated shape is suggestive of a mortuary enclosure or similar Neolithic funerary or ceremonial monument. The enclosure to the SE is rectilinear in shape and measures about 70m NW-SE by 60m transversely, with an entrance in the SE side. It contains a near rectangular post-defined timber structure with rounded corners, measuring about 18m by 9m. This structure and the enclosure within which it lies are on the same alignment, but the two are not necessarily contemporary. A concentration of pits at the N end of the scheduled area probably represents the remains of a second rectangular timber structure. Three sides of a further pit-defined enclosure are visible to the SW: its NE end is about 29m long, while the parallel NW and SE sides are visible for a distance of about 26m. At least eight ring-ditch roundhouses are located in the N part of the scheduled area, representing a later prehistoric unenclosed settlement. There is also at least one souterrain (underground structure), the clearest and largest example lying to the SE, across the road from the main scheduled area.

The scheduled area comprises two parts, both 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. 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 funerary and ceremonial activity and of prehistoric house construction, domestic organisation and settlement. The monument preserves a rare combination of ritual and funerary remains and domestic structures and its importance is greatly enhanced by its position within the cluster of ceremonial monuments, unenclosed settlements and barrows found on the S bank of the Lunan Water around Boysack. The archaeological monuments here are of varied form and the cluster represents one of the most important in eastern Scotland, with rich potential to support study of the changing character of prehistoric activity and settlement over time. Our understanding of the distribution and character of prehistoric ritual monuments and settlements would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO64NW 39, 40, 76, 77. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO64NW0040.

ReferencesRCAHMS Aerial Photograph AN1551, AN3585, AN3676, AN3914, AN3922, AN5586, DP166891, DP166898

Kendrick, J 1995, 'Excavation of a Neolithic enclosure and an Iron Age settlement at Douglasmuir, Angus', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 125, 29-67.

McGill, C 2003, 'The excavation of a palisaded enclosure and associated structures at Ironshill East, near Inverkeilor, Angus', Tayside and Fife Archaeol J 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, 17, no 103.


HER/SMR Reference

Angus SMR NO64NW0040

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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