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Machrie Moor, prehistoric settlement 650m SSE of Crochandoon

A Scheduled Monument in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.5289 / 55°31'43"N

Longitude: -5.3304 / 5°19'49"W

OS Eastings: 189904

OS Northings: 631163

OS Grid: NR899311

Mapcode National: GBR FG63.55D

Mapcode Global: WH1N1.29ZB

Entry Name: Machrie Moor, prehistoric settlement 650m SSE of Crochandoon

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1977

Last Amended: 5 May 2017

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3973

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Kilmory

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Traditional County: Buteshire

Description

The monument is a prehistoric settlement comprising two Bronze or Iron Age round houses, defined by earth banks located in open ground within heather moorland.

The southernmost round house survives as a vegetation covered oval bank 30m in diameter with an entrance on the east side. Within the bank is another smaller enclosure 10m in diameter which is likely to be the remains of a timber hut. The northern round house is sub-circular and measures approximately 11m in diameter. The house survives as a heather and grass covered bank.  There is a break in the bank on the south-west side which may have included an entrance

The scheduled area comprises two discrete sub-circular areas to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of this monument has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

The monument contributes to the understanding of settlement and economy in the later prehistoric period. The round houses have the potential to add to our knowledge of settlement of this period in general and specifically the nature and character of the round houses including the building techniques used to construct them. In particular, the southern round house suggests a complexity of design as it is located within another enclosure and may provide evidence of external activities connected with the occupation and use of the building.

This monument is located in heather moorland. The preservation of the monument is good.  Due to their location and because the area has not been used for intensive cultivation, it is likely that archaeologically deposits relating to construction, use and abandonment of the round houses remain in place. Archaeological deposits, including artefacts such as pottery, and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen, are likely to survive within, beneath and around the intact elements of the monument. These deposits can help us understand more about prehistoric domestic and agricultural practice, and the significance of materials, technology and craft in a domestic-agricultural context.

Contextual Characteristics

The monument is a good example of a prehistoric settlement. The settlement comprises an important domestic group in its own right, but is only one part of a wider archaeological landscape of both domestic and ritual monuments such as standing stones, stone circles and burial cairns which lies adjacent to extensive settlement remains such as hut-circles and field-systems on Machrie Moor. In addition to the visible archaeological remains excavations have shown that earlier timber monuments underlie those visible on the surface. It is very likely that there are many other remains beneath and between the visible sites. The role of climatic change, over-farming of the land and social changes in the eventual abandonment of the Machrie Moor area in favour of settlement above the valley floor has yet to be determined. The exceptionally good survival of archaeological remains in the landscape and the large archaeological potential of this landscape, makes Machrie Moor an internationally valuable resource.

The monument has the potential to reveal much about house building and small-scale community living during later prehistory. Such remains were widespread across much of Scotland, although few upstanding examples now survive in fertile, lowland positions. They reflect the widespread colonization and settlement of the country and in this case, may be part of disparate community on Machrie Moor and surrounding area. Comparing these examples to others on Arran and across Scotland can create an understanding of regional identities and differing lifestyles, economies and wider society during the first and early second millenniums BC.

Associative Characteristics

This monument has no known associative characteristics.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it makes a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of prehistoric society in western Scotland. It is a good example of a later prehistoric settlement that retains its field characteristics. As a well-preserved example it can significantly expand our understanding of prehistoric domestic buildings, their occupants and their day-to-day activities. The monument's importance is enhanced by its position within the wider landscape of later prehistoric settlement and ceremonial monuments on Machrie Moor and the surrounding area. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the character of prehistoric settlement on Arran, as well as society and economy during this period.

 

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 39244 (accessed on 2311/2016).

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 39260 (accessed on 2311/2016).

West of Scotland Archaeology Service HER/SMR Reference 3834 (accessed on 23/11/2016).

West of Scotland Archaeology Service HER/SMR Reference 3850 (accessed on 23/11/2016).

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/39260/
https://canmore.org.uk/site/39244/


HER/SMR Reference

http://www.wosas.net/wosas_site.php?id=3834
http://www.wosas.net/wosas_site.php?id=3850

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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