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Souterrain (Prehistoric), Bead(S) (Period Unknown), Coin(S) (Roman), Implement(S) (Flint)(Period Unknown), Pin (Bronze)(Period Unknown), Samian (Pottery)(Roman)

Site Name Pitcur

Classification Souterrain (Prehistoric), Bead(S) (Period Unknown), Coin(S) (Roman), Implement(S) (Flint)(Period Unknown), Pin (Bronze)(Period Unknown), Samian (Pottery)(Roman)

Canmore ID 30539

Site Number NO23NE 1.01

NGR NO 2529 3738

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Kettins
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Angus


Field Visit (28 April 1958)

NO23NE 1.01 2529 3738.

(NO 2529 3738) Earth-house (NR) Cup marked Stones (NR)

OS 6" map (1959)

This souterrain was discovered when ploughing in 1878, and was excavated by Mr John Granger, tenant of Pitcur farm. The only objects found were pieces of a Samian bowl (2nd century AD, type D.37), a Roman coin, and "a few other coins". The coins had been lost by 1900. A "supplementary excavation" was carried out by Mr R Stewart Menzies, who recovered from 100 - 200 items, including a bronze pin, querns, flints, beads, etc. These are now lost.

The souterrain consists of main passage, 190' long, 50' of which is still roofed with huge slabs, and an annexe, 60' long. Traces of corbelling may still be seen there. It had at least three separate entrances. Within the covered portion are two recesses. A cup marked stone lies on the ground surface near the entrance, and another is in the wall beside the doorway. The site is now deep in nettles, with trees and bushes growing in the souterrain (visited by OSA {JLD} 28 April 1958).

F T Wainwright 1963; D MacRitchie 1900; J Curle 1932; A S Robertson


Field Visit (19 June 1976)

No change to previous report.

Revised at 25".

Visited by OS (NKB) 19 June 1976.

Field Visit (21 April 1989)

This souterrain complex, which was discovered in 1878, is situated in a fenced area in an arable field. It was extensively excavated in the 19th century and, for the greater part, is still exposed to view, although it is now overgrown and dilapidated.

The complex comprises three interconnecting passages:

(1) a broad W passage which, with its two entrances and terminal bulge, could stand as a souterrain in its own right;

(2) a central passage, also with two entrances, and

(3) an E passage, also with two entrances.

The passage walls, which measure up to 2m in height, are all corbelled, and considerable stretches of roofing slabs remain in situ, particularly over the E passage. Two of the entrances have rebated jambs, and there are two aumbries in the E passage and another in the W passage. Two of the footing-stones of the souterrain are cup- marked, as are two probably-displaced lintel stones. A fifth stone (NO23NE 1.06) bears enigmatic graffiti of unknown date. Most of the finds from the excavations, which included Roman coins, a bronze pin, querns, flints and beads, have been lost, but fragments of a Form 37 Samian bowl are preserved in Brechin Library (under accession number ADM B 1977.295a). Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 21 April 1989.

Measured Survey (21 April 1989)

RCAHMS surveyed the souterrain at Pitcur (NO23NE 1) with plane-table and alidade on 21 April 1989 at a scale of 1:125. The resultant plan was redrawn in ink and published at a scale of 1:250 (RCAHMS 1994b, 63).

Geophysical Survey (1995)

NO 2529 3738 Resistance and gradiometer surveys were conducted in the immediate vicinity of Pitcur souterrain (NMRS no NO23NE 1). Although most of the souterrain lies within a fenced area, the portion of passage that survives with lintels intact extends under a ploughed field. Ploughing has actively destabilised the lintels and brought about the risk of collapse.

The main objective was to ascertain the full extent of the souterrain passage. This information is to be used to mark out the line of a new fence to enclose the whole site.

In addition to a number of features of modern origin, the survey was successful in identifying the precise position of the surviving passage.

Reports have been deposited with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland.

T Neighbour 1995.

Geophysical surveys of the immediate vicinity of the souterrain were carried out by the Centre for Field Archaeology in 1995.

MS/726/69, MS/726/70


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