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Buzzart Dikes

Deer Park (Medieval)

Site Name Buzzart Dikes

Classification Deer Park (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Buzzard Dikes; Buzzart Dykes; Middleton Muir

Canmore ID 28801

Site Number NO14NW 2

NGR NO 1268 4766

NGR Description Centred NO 1268 4766

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/28801

Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Kinloch
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NO14NW 2 centred 1268 4766

(No 127 476) Caledonian Camp (NR) (Supposed Site of) Buzzart Dikes (NR) OS 6" map, Perthshire, 2nd ed. (1901)

For 'small cairns' apparently traditionally associated with this monument, see NO14SE 49.

The name appears to have originated on the authority of Playfair, who together with McRitchie and Brodie, connects it with the Battle of Mons Graupius.

Staistical Account (OSA, J Playfair) 1797; OSA (McRitchie) 1793; OSA (Brodie) 1796

The earthwork, Buzzard Dikes, encloses an irregular oblong area just under a mile long on the S, and c.1740 yds on the N, by c.650 yds along its western margin and 470 yds on the eastern. The work is best preserved at its western end where it runs SSW across the ridges and hollows.

V G Childe and A Graham 1943

There is no relation between the earthwork and the hut circles and cairns in the vicinity.

V G Childe and A Graham 1943

It bears no resemblance to any known defensive work, Roman or native, and has the ditch on the inside of the bank. Crawford is convinced therefore, that the work is an animal enclosure, probably medieval, and possibly late at that.

O G S Crawford 1949

The earthwork known as 'Buzzart Dikes' encloses an area of about 86 ha on Middleton Muir. Although identified by antiquarians as a Caledonian camp and associated with the battle of Mons Graupius, it has been convincingly interpreted as the remains of a medieval deer park.

O G S Crawford 1949

Buzzart Dikes, a probable medieval park pale, as described above. It is best preserved in the W. Part surveyed at 1:10,000 and part at 1:2500.

Visited by OS(JM) 16 January 1975

Activities

Field Visit (5 August 1942)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Emergency Survey (1942-3), an unpublished rescue project. Site descriptions, organised by county, vary from short notes to lengthy and full descriptions and are available to view online with contemporary sketches and photographs. The original typescripts, manuscripts, notebooks and photographs can also be consulted in the RCAHMS Search Room.

Information from RCAHMS (GFG) 10 December 2014.

Field Visit (26 August 1958)

Linear Earthworks, Buzzart Dykes

A good factual account, of this earthwork is given by Childe and Graham in Proceedings, but they say nothing about its purpose. It is clearly not defensive, since the N side runs in the bottom of a gully and the ditch is inside the bank, and it can only be interpreted as a land boundary.

The scale of the work, a s it survives at present on the W side, is mor e substantial than that of the average mediaeval land boundary, but strongly recalls Wallace’s Trench in Selkirkshire, with which its measurements should be compared.

The circle marked on the map on the crest of the ridge just within the W side of the enclosure is surrounded by a ruined stone wall and looks like a genuine hut, but the other circles and cairns indicated on the map could not be inspected at the date of visit owing to the dense growth of heather and bracken.

Visited by RCAHMS (KAS) 26 August 1958

Field Visit (December 1988)

On the E the earthwork has been obliterated by cultivation but elsewhere virtually the entire perimeter survives intact. It comprises a bank (up to 1.4m high) and internal ditch (up to 1.2m deep), and where best preserved on the W it measures about 10.1m overall. The course of the earthwork is as described by Childe and Graham (1943) but at the SW corner the present survey has recorded a second line of bank and ditch cutting across the houghland on the S side of the Lornty Burn. The purpose of this earthwork is unclear and may no more than reflect the reconstruction of an eroded section, but in conjunction with an enclosure (NO14NW 61), which overlooks the haughland at this point, it is possible that both fulfilled a specialised function.

No evidence of an original entrance is apparent, however, the perimeter is cut by hollowed trackways at two points (NO 130 479, 128 473) and another track is overlain by the earthwork itself (NO 119 478). For buildings in proximity to the deer park see NO14NW 50, 58.

Visited by RCAHMS (IMS/SH) December 1988.

RCAHMS 1990

Archaeological Evaluation (15 March 2010 - 19 March 2010)

N0 119 476 A single trench was opened, 15–19 March 2010,

across the line of a section of the upstanding park bank

and ditch at a possible entrance at the W end of the site. A

stone base for the bank apparently constructed from glacial

erratic stones was exposed. The ditch appeared to have at

least one recut and was 1.2m deep. Samples were taken for

palaeoenvironmental analysis and radiocarbon dating.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: University of Stirling

Excavation (3 June 2013 - 24 June 2013)

NO 1268 4766 A programme of further excavation was carried out, 3–24 June 2013, as part of the Scottish Medieval Deer Parks project. Trenches were excavated across the W and N park boundaries and a large rectangular building to the NE of the park. The excavation across the building located the remains of most of a smashed Scottish Redware jug in the fill of its drainage trench. The vessel has been dated to no later than the 14th century. A charcoal sample from the floor of the building produced a date of 740 +/- 34 BP which gives a calibrated date of AD 1219–1295 at 95.4%.

The excavation across the N boundary located evidence for a fence or stake line running just below its top. The excavations across the W boundary located the course of a possible hedge line along its top.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: Kevin Malloy, University of Wyoming

Derek Hall, 2013

(Source: DES)

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