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Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Field System(S) (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Craighead

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Field System(S) (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Alyth Burn

Canmore ID 29136

Site Number NO15SE 23

NGR NO 1954 5502

NGR Description Centred on NO 195 549

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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


Field Visit (20 March 1974)

NO15SE 23 centred on 195 549.

Centred at NO 195 549 is a settlement of six circular stone-walled huts (A - F), two enclosures (G, H), a contemporary field-system, and a cup marked boulder.

'A' is 9.0m in diameter between the centres of a wall of bare stones, spread to 2.5m, with an ill-defined entrance in the SE.

'B' is 13.0m in diameter between the centres of a wall of indeterminate width. The entrance is in the SSE. Attached to the N arc is a small oval annexe measuring 7.0m by 5.5m.

'C' and 'D' are an unusual "Dalrulzian" complex (similar to huts 'C' and 'D' of NO 15 SW 8). 'C' measures 10.0m internally and 'D' measures 8.0m internally. Both occur within a common outer wall, and their entrances are in the SSE. Outside the SE arc of hut 'D' at NO 1956 5498, is a naturally-placed boulder bearing four cup marks on its horizontal surface.

'E' is 7.0m in diameter between the centres of a wall of indeterminate width. The entrance is in the SE.

'F' is a "Dalrulzian" hut measuring 8.5m internally, and 14.5m between the centres of the outer wall. The entrance, in the SSE, opens into a sub-circular "porch" measuring 5.0m by 4.5m, to which there is no external entrance evident. Abutting on to the NE side of the "porch" is another small circular annexe measuring 3.0m in diameter, with no obvious entrance (see NO 15 NW 7).

The enclosures 'G' and 'H' are dissimilar. 'G' measures 7.0m in diameter within the centres of a strong rubble wall spread to 3.0m. It does not appear to be a hut circle. 'H' measures c. 16.0m E-W by 14.0m N-S and it is connected to hut 'E' by a curving ruinous wall.

The field-system is marked by stone clearance heaps, occasional lynchets, and ruinous walls, one of which pursues a sinuous course immediately in front of huts A - D.

Surveyed at 1:10,000

Visited by OS (IMT) 20 March 1974

Field Visit (April 1983)

On the E flank of Hill of Craighead and bisected by a forestry track, there is a group of hut-circles and parts of a field-system. The houses are disposed in two tiers (A-E and F-H) which lie roughly parallel to the contour. The field-banks radiate out from the houses and extend for considerable distances to the W,N and E. On the SE several short stretches of bank are visible intermittently through the peat cover which probably masks a large part of the field-system.

Group A-E

This group contains five houses, three of which (A,B,C) are simple hut- circles while D and E form an unusual pair of Dalrulzian type houses sharing a common outer wall. Hut-circle B is overlain by C and D/E, and its wall-line has been encroached on by A. A stretch of walling, which forms an enclosure in front of the houses , springs from the outer wall of D/E, but its chronological relationship to the D/E is unclear. Houses A,D and E each have a single aumbrey in the inner wall-face. On the upper surface of a rock outcrop on the line of the enclosure wall there are four shallow cupmarks.

Group G-H

These three structures lie a short distance up slope from the first group and comprise: F, a circular enclosure, probably not a

hut-circle; G, a hut-circle cut by the forestry track; and H, a Dalrulzian house. Adjacent to F and H there are structures of more recent date.

Visited by RCAHMS (JBS) April (1983)

Excavation (August 1983)

A forestry road had passed through a settlement of Dalrulzion-type and single walled houses, destroying half of a small, roughly circular house [G - NO 1955 5504]. The remaining half was investigated in August. The house was c.7.0m in diameter crest to crest and survived as a low rubble bank c2.5m wide and c.0.3m high. Several small rounded boulders may represent a foundation core and a short line of large flat stones may be the remains of the inner wall-facing which has collapsed inwards. A short length of shallow ditch c0.7m wide and c0.2m deep and filled with upright flat stones may be the remains of a foundation trench for the wall. One stone-packed posthole c0.2m in diameter and c0.2m deep was found within the house.

About 1.0m to the SE of this lay a shallow pit c0.5m long, c0.4m wide and c0.15m deep. To the N of the house a large number of sherds of coarse pottery were found. They are probably all from one vessel.

J Rideout 1983

The surviving half of a small round-house, damaged by a forestry road, at Craighead, Alyth, was investigated. Pottery from the site indicated a later Bronze Age or Iron Age date.

J S Rideout 1995

Watching Brief (23 March 2023 - 21 August 2023)

NO 19713 55116 A programme of archaeological works including an archaeological walkover and photographic survey, a basic building recording and a watching brief was carried out by GUARD Archaeology Limited on the areas proposed for track upgrading, quarrying and of known archaeological sensitivity within Tullymurdoch, Forest of Alyth, Perth and Kinross. No previously unknown archaeological features were encountered during the walkover survey or the watching brief.

Information from Katharine Warden GUARD Archaeology Limited.


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