Ancient Monuments

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Boysack, barrow cemetery and enclosure 250m south west of Invergighty Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath East and Lunan, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6351 / 56°38'6"N

Longitude: -2.6251 / 2°37'30"W

OS Eastings: 361750

OS Northings: 749425

OS Grid: NO617494

Mapcode National: GBR VT.X08X

Mapcode Global: WH8RV.NH4B

Entry Name: Boysack, barrow cemetery and enclosure 250m SW of Invergighty Cottage

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1994

Last Amended: 5 March 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5984

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Inverkeilor

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath East and Lunan

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is a later prehistoric or early historic barrow cemetery and a small enclosure dating probably to between 500 BC and AD 800. The remains lie buried beneath the ploughsoil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The monument lies on low-lying level ground on the SW bank of the Lunan Water at around 35m above OD.

Four circular barrows are aligned approximately NNW-SSE, each measuring around 8m in diameter. Some 50m to the NE is a larger circular barrow, about 20m in diameter. To the W of the large barrow are two contiguous square barrows, each measuring about 8m across and sharing a common S side. All of the barrows have well-defined central grave pits. The enclosure lies NE of the barrows and measures about 12m in diameter with an entrance to the SW. Numerous other cropmarks in and around the barrow cemetery may represent grave pits, either without accompanying barrows or surrounded by ditches that do not register as cropmarks.

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. 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 important because of its potential to add to our understanding of funerary and burial activity in eastern Scotland during the later prehistoric and early historic periods. The cropmarks suggest that a variety of barrow forms is present, with the individual round and square barrows representing good examples of their type. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its position within the cluster of round and square barrows known around Boysack, and by its association with the wider landscape of prehistoric settlement and funerary sites in the Lunan Valley. The archaeological landscape here forms an important concentration of evidence for social and economic change in eastern Scotland in the first millennia BC and AD. Our understanding of late prehistoric and early historic funerary practice would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO64NW 41. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO64NW 0041.

ReferencesRCAHMS Aerial Photographs AN3559, AN3562Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys AP AAS/84/6/R14/12 (RCAHMS ref SC1014673)

Alexander, D 2005, 'Redcastle, Lunan Bay, Angus: the excavation of an Iron Age timber-lined souterrain and a Pictish barrow cemetery', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 127, 41-118.

Murray, D and Ralston, I 1997, 'The excavation of a square-ditched barrow and other cropmarks at Boysack Mills, Inverkeilor, Angus', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 127, 359-386.

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, 9, no 25.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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