Ancient Monuments

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Douglasmuir, roundhouse, enclosure and pits 560m NNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6339 / 56°38'1"N

Longitude: -2.639 / 2°38'20"W

OS Eastings: 360897

OS Northings: 749296

OS Grid: NO608492

Mapcode National: GBR VT.931N

Mapcode Global: WH8RV.FJK8

Entry Name: Douglasmuir, roundhouse, enclosure and pits 560m NNW of

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1994

Last Amended: 5 March 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5983

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Inverkeilor

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of a roundhouse, a rectilinear enclosure and an arc of pits. The roundhouse and enclosure date probably to between 1800 BC and AD 400, while the arc of pits may be Neolithic in date (4000 BC to 2000 BC). The remains lie buried beneath the ploughsoil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The monument is located in the Lunan Valley, on level ground 750m SW of the Lunan Water at around 40m above sea level.

The roundhouse is indicated by the cropmark of a penannular ditch that lies towards the NW of the scheduled area. The penannular ditch measures around 12m in diameter and is about 1.5m wide on the W side, but over 3m wide to the E. A pit lies inside the roundhouse and other pits and gullies lie immediately to the NE. To the SW, the rectilinear enclosure is formed by a ditch measuring from 1.5m to 2m wide that bounds an area measuring 22m NNE-SSW by 20m transversely. The entrance appears to be near the S corner. Further SW, the arc of six or more pits is semi-circular in shape and measures 22m in diameter, the largest individual pit measuring about 2m in diameter.

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 N 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, domestic organisation and settlement. The survival of a roundhouse in close proximity to an enclosure and a potential pit circle is rare. The monument's importance is greatly enhanced by its association with nearby prehistoric ritual and funerary monuments and settlements in this part of the Lunan Valley; it is an important component of the wider landscape of cursus monuments, unenclosed settlements and barrows found on the S bank of the Lunan Water around Boysack. Our understanding of the distribution and character of prehistoric settlements would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO64NW 29, 35. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO64NW0035.

ReferencesRCAHMS Aerial Photograph AN2822Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys AP AAS/82/10/R8/1 (RCAHMS ref SC1013451)Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys AP AAS/82/10(6x6)/R8/1 (RCAHMS ref SC1013454)

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, 23, no 173; 20, no 134.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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