Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gallows Knowe, cairn 340m south of House of Dun

A Scheduled Monument in Montrose and District, Angus

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Latitude: 56.7264 / 56°43'34"N

Longitude: -2.5395 / 2°32'22"W

OS Eastings: 367082

OS Northings: 759541

OS Grid: NO670595

Mapcode National: GBR X2.H70H

Mapcode Global: WH8RH.Y6WB

Entry Name: Gallows Knowe, cairn 340m S of House of Dun

Scheduled Date: 31 October 1970

Last Amended: 26 November 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM862

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Dun

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Montrose and District

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is a burial cairn dating probably to the Bronze Age (between about 2500 BC and 800 BC). It is visible as a large, grass-covered mound. The cairn is situated on a low rise 25m above sea level, overlooking the Montrose Basin which lies about 800m to the SE.

The upstanding burial cairn measures around 26m in diameter. The top of the mound has a level surface measuring some 12m in diameter. The cairn stands about 1.6m high from most viewpoints, but appears higher when seen from the E. Water-worn cobbles are visible in places beneath the turf.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 46m in diameter, 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 above-ground elements of the post-and-wire fence surrounding the cairn are specifically excluded from the scheduling to allow for their maintenance. The monument was first scheduled in 1970, but the present amendment provides documents to modern standards.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument has inherent potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, particularly the design and construction of burial monuments, and the nature of belief systems and burial practices during the Bronze Age in Angus. Ritual and funerary monuments are a major source of evidence for human activity during the Bronze Age in Scotland and are particularly important for enhancing our understanding of Bronze Age society, its organisation, economy, religion and demography. This mound retains good field characteristics and appears little disturbed, allowing us to interpret its original form and function. It retains high potential for buried archaeological remains including burials, artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence. Burial monuments such as this are an important component of the wider prehistoric landscape of land-use, settlement and ritual. This example is particularly interesting as it has a relatively open aspect within the landscape, with views across the Montrose Basin. The loss of the monument would diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand funerary practice and approaches to death and burial in prehistoric times, and the placing of such monuments within the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 35682.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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