Scheduled Monument

Brackley, settlement 230m ENE ofSM11834

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse
Local Authority
NH 80473 52175
280473, 852175


The monument comprises a prehistoric settlement of at least four roundhouses, visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. It survives as negative (buried) features, situated on level ground 175m to the ENE of the buildings at Brackley.

As a group the four roundhouses are aligned roughly E to W, with the middle pair situated very close together on a NW to SE alignment. The roundhouse to the E appears the best preserved, with a ditch that is 3-4m wide enclosing an internal area 13 m in diameter. A ring of thirteen postholes is situated around the perimeter of the internal area. A break in the line of the ditch occurs to the N. The middle pair of roundhouses appears to overlap slightly, suggesting a sequence of settlement. The SE example consists of a penannular ditch, 3-4m wide, tracing its N perimeter, with a break in the centre indicating an entranceway. A series of irregularly spaced pits lie between this roundhouse and the well-preserved one to the E. The NW roundhouse in the middle pair consists of a broad ditch, 4-6m wide, giving an overall external diameter of 21m. The roundhouse to the W is defined along its northern perimeter by a broad penannular ditch, 5.5m wide, tapering to the W.

The area to be scheduled is a clipped rectangle on plan, to include the roundhouses and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The area extends up to, but excludes the fenceline to the N.

Statement of National Importance

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: Visible as a well-preserved buried feature on aerial photographs, the monument has potential to further our understanding of prehistoric roundhouse settlements. Probable overlapping of the middle pair of roundhouses suggests an element of site continuity and reuse. Archaeological deposits contained in the deep ditches surrounding all four roundhouses have the potential to provide evidence for the sequence of use. The pit circle within the roundhouse to the E has the potential to reveal important information about the structure of the roundhouse. An earlier interpretation by Harding and Lee in 1987 suggested that some of the cropmarks related to a henge, or possibly included a souterrain.

Contextual characteristics: This cluster of roundhouses will have been part of a much wider landscape of prehistoric farming communities. Similar enclosures and pit circles occur 820m to the N, 680m to the S, 1230m to the NE, and a series of pit alignments occurs 980m to the WNW. Spatial analysis of this site and others like it may further our understanding of settlement location, economy, and the structure of society. Information gained from the preservation and study of this site can be used to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of prehistoric farming settlements across Scotland.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved prehistoric roundhouse settlement visible as a buried feature. The deep ditches have the potential to preserve important stratigraphic deposits which may further our understanding of site continuity and reuse. The monument has the potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric roundhouse settlements, both in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape, as well as our knowledge of prehistoric domestic structures and economy.



RCAHMS record the site as NH85SW 23.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS, 1976:

B 51194 PO.

B 51195 PO.

B 51196 PO.

B 51197 PO IN 2691.

RCAHMS, 1996

C 72837.

C 72838.

C 72839.

C 72840.



Jones G D B and Keillar I 1985, 'Ardersier (Petty Parish) hut circles' DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 1985, 26.

Keillar I 1986, 'In fines Borestorum: to the land of the Boresti', POPULAR ARCHAEOL 7, 3, April 1986, 2-9.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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Printed: 20/04/2024 05:54