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Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Site Name Ashgrove

Classification Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Pirnie

Canmore ID 31324

Site Number NO30SE 12

NGR NO 3524 0011

NGR Description NO c. 3524 0011

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Wemyss
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Kirkcaldy
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO30SE 12 c. 3524 0011

An earth-house was discovered at Pirnie, now Ashgrove, in April 1868, by workmen who were cutting the branch railway between Cameron Bridge Station and Buckhaven, about a quarter of a mile from that station. It was embedded in a firm dry gravel bank overlooking the river Leven.

Most of it was removed before it could be investigated, but from descriptions it was at least 50 feet long, slightly curved, and expanded at its inner and to about 8 feet high and 7 feet wide. Round the inner end there was a series of large stones, upwards of four feet in height, standing close to the wall, but not built into it, and placed at regular distances from each other. At the entrance the passage was 2 feet 8 inches wide by, at the most, 4 feet high.

The whole area was filled with earth and lose stone slabs. The bottom was of soft unctuous earth, and a considerable quantity of charcoal and animal bones and teeth was found.

A Laing 1870

No trace remains of this earth-house sited to approximately NO 3525 0010 from the above information.

Visited by OS (JFC) 4 October 1954

(NO 3524 0011) Earth house (site of); for details see Souterrain file, under Pirnie.

Information from F J Wainwright, 28 October 1955.


Publication Account (1933)

Earth-house, Pirnie.

In April 1868 an earth-house was discovered near Pirnie, but unfortunately the larger portion of the structure was demolished before any careful examination could be made. The site was later visited by a deputation from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and a notice of the structure was contributed to the Proceedings, vol. vii (1866-8), pp. 532-4. A construction which at present exists alongside the house of Rothes, Markinch [NO 2830 0152], is understood to be largely built, presumably on the same plan, with stones taken from the earth-house (cf. p. 210).



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