Ancient Monuments

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Camp Hill, enclosure 800m south east of Crochmore

A Scheduled Monument in Castle Douglas and Crocketford, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.0083 / 55°0'29"N

Longitude: -3.7774 / 3°46'38"W

OS Eastings: 286426

OS Northings: 569635

OS Grid: NX864696

Mapcode National: GBR 2B2J.0G

Mapcode Global: WH5WT.YCDX

Entry Name: Camp Hill, enclosure 800m SE of Crochmore

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1928

Last Amended: 23 March 2017

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1055

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Kirkgunzeon

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Castle Douglas and Crocketford

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument comprises of a large circular defended enclosure which probably dates to the Bronze Age (2500 BC to 800BC).  The monument is visible as a circular bank and ditch measuring approximately 90m in diameter.  The enclosure is not situated on the summit of Camp Hill but is terraced into the northwestern slope at approximately 170m above sea level.

The earthworks comprise a bank and ditch enclosing a circular area.  They are truncated on the western side where they have been leveled through ploughing.  The bank survives to a maximum height of 2m and the external ditch has a maximum depth of 2m.  There are two possible entrances to the monument; a gap in the earthworks measuring approximately 2.4m on the north eastern side and a smaller, possibly secondary entrance located on the southern side measuring approximately 4m.

The scheduled area is circular on plan and centred on the visible extent of the enclosure, with a diameter of 106m.  This area includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monuments construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.  

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The Cultural Significance of the monument has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

The upstanding elements of the monument are well-preserved, with the bank standing 2m high and the ditch 2m deep, although approximately one third of the monument on its western side has been levelled, likely through ploughing. There is the potential for buried deposits to survive intact beneath the surviving earthworks, as well as artefactual and environmental material deposited during the construction of the monument.  

A hoard of Bronze Age weapons, including seven bronze sword blades (Canmore ID 81595) were discovered within the outer ditch of the monument in the 19th century.  Some hoards may have had both a ritual and social element and were deposited in locations that were symbolic for instance. between the area enclosed by the defences and the surrounding open ground.  The find indicates that the monument is of likely Bronze Age date and highlights also the potential for the survival of this type of material within the monument.  

There is no visible evidence for prehistoric houses within the enclosure, however, other similar sites show that roundhouses may survive as buried archaeological features.  The interior of the monument may contain deep deposits with potential for significant assemblages of artefacts and environmental evidence.  Excavations, for example, at Green Knowe platform settlement, Scottish Borders (scheduled monument reference SM2760, Canmore ID 51532), uncovered evidence for structural features, such as post holes and hearths, up to a depth of approximately 1m.  Archaeological investigation of the monument using the latest techniques can help us understand prehistoric population demographics, social or religious practices and contemporary economics.

Contextual Characteristics

Prehistoric defended enclosures are a widespread class of monument across Scotland.  However, in many cases the monument has been levelled through historic and modern agricultural practices.  Therefore, the good preservation of the majority of the outer earthworks is notable.  Although widespread throughout Scotland, there are fewer examples of prehistoric settlements or enclosures in this area.  The closest being crannogs 3.8km to the east on Loch Arthur (Canmore ID 65468) and 2.8km to the northwest Milton Loch (Canmore ID 65047).  Enclosed settlements which can be dated to the Bronze Age period are uncommon in Scotland.  The potential that Camp Hill is of Bronze Age date increases its significance and gives greater potential for spatial analysis of similar sites to better inform our understanding prehistoric settlement patterns and probable population levels.

A prehistoric cairn was located approximately 140m east of the monument (Canmore ID 64936). Historic map analysis demonstrates that the cairn had been removed prior to the mid-19th century.  Despite this, its proximity and location overlooking a prehistoric settlement has the potential to inform contextual studies of prehistoric settlement and ritualistic or funerary sites.

The enclosure is located on the northwestern slopes of Camp Hill.  Its location is unusual as the site is overlooked by higher ground which suggests that the enclosing bank and ditch were not purely defensive.  Analysis of the location of the monument would help to understand this and other prehistoric "defensive" settlements that are located on sites that do not take advantage of the best topographic location for defence.  In this instance to the east on the summit of Camp Hill.  Although obscured by present tree cover the monument would have held commanding views to the north and northwest while it was in use, towards Craigley and Burnside of Urr.  Views to the east of the monument are limited by the topography.

Associative Characteristics

The 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 Bronze Age settlement in eastern Dumfries and Galloway.  It has the potential to tell us about the construction and use of such prehistoric settlement sites, and the lives of its inhabitants; how people lived, where they came from and who they had contacts with. Archaeological deposits preserved beneath the bank and in the interior of the monument may provide information about the nature of the contemporary environment. The discovery in the 19th century of a hoard of Bronze Age weapons within the outer ditch of the monument enhances its importance. They indicate a likely Bronze Age date for the site and demonstrate a complexity of use and meaning, their deposition indicating ritual activity. Spatial analysis of this and similar sites may inform our understanding of patterns of landholding and the expansion of settlement. The loss of this site would affect our future ability to appreciate and understand the Bronze Age landscape of this part of Scotland and those that lived in it.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland Canmore ID 64919, named 'Drumcoltran' (accessed 18/11/2016).

Dumfries and Galloway Council records the site as 'Camp Hill/ Drumcoltran / Drumcoltran Hoard/ Drumcoltran Hill/ Camp Hill/ Crochmore' in the Dumfries and Galloway Historic Environment Record (Reference MDG4492).


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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