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Carnoustie, Upper Victoria Link, Enclosed Ring Ditch

Ring Ditch (Prehistoric)

Site Name Carnoustie, Upper Victoria Link, Enclosed Ring Ditch

Classification Ring Ditch (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 364004

Site Number NO53NW 98

NGR NO 54220 35116

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Barry
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus


Archaeological Evaluation (February 2019)

After the topsoil strip of the 'Strip 1' area (see event ID: 1093865) and an evaluation including 23 trenches (see event ID: 1093866), a much larger area covering c 4.5 ha was opened across the previously evaluated area. This excavation revealed several prehistoric and early historic structures, as well as field boundaries and general settlement evidence across the site.


One confirmed Neolithic large pit was excavated in the southern portion of the site. The pit measured 3.1m by 3.1m and was 0.75m deep with an oval plan and gently sloping sides which became gradually steeper towards the concave base. A large vessel, interpreted as used for cooking, was removed from the surface of the pit. The vessel has been identified as likely Late Neolithic.

A possible prehistoric structure was identified, which consisted of multiple ring grooves forming a rough circle. This area was thought to represent at least one phase of housing.

A fully enclosed ring ditch was also identified. This was a circular ditch, with no entrance way. The external dimensions were 4.45m in diameter with an internal dimension of 2.45m x 2.15m. The ditch itself varied in width 0.82-1.5m to a depth of 0.21-0.45m.

Additional probable ring groove structures were encountered across the site, however, as they were severely truncated it was problematic to identify individual features. It was proposed that these features were almost certainly the remains of numerous later prehistoric roundhouses.

Early Medieval:

A number of field boundaries, which appear to respect other structures and as such are thought to be of contemporary date, extend across the site. The two predominant boundaries both lie on a SE-NW to NW/W-E alignment and measure 162m and c.200m respectively; they run parallel to each other in the southern half of the evaluated area and are c.100m apart. They may be connected at the N end by a perpendicular field boundary.

A structure with a sub-rectangular ditch and rounded ends with a small annexe was located to the north of the field systems on a SW-NE orientation. The main structure measured approximately 16m x 8.5m x 0.08-0.22m. The small annex measured 3.0m x 1.5m in area and could possibly represent an entranceway. This structure appeared to be truncated by a pit, a large sub-oval pit and a truncated linear, which could have possibly been an extension.

A second long structure, to the SW of structure 2, was also identified. It consists of a large sub-rectangular structure on a SW-NE orientation comprising two intercutting ditches. The SW end was truncated, likely by ploughing. The structure measured 45m by 7m by 0.16-0.70m. A probably associated hearth lay between the two ditches, as well as several possible post holes.

At the N end of the site, a large circular enclosure was uncovered. It was truncated by modern field systems. It was sub-oval in plan and measured 25m by 19m. There were numerous associated ditches, pits and possible postholes, however these did not form any obvious structure(s).

A number of heavily truncated features across the site could also have been interpreted within this period, however, they were impossible to identify or determine with confidence.

Unknown period:

A semi-circular ditch, measuring 14m by 0.4-0.74m by 0.14-0.40m with steep sides and a rounded base was uncovered to the E of the two Early Medieval structures. As it was cut by a ditch believed to be Early medieval in date, and so was thought to be of an earlier date.

Information from Steven Watt (AOC Archaeology), July 2019

OASIS ID: aocarcha1-357122

Project (28 January 2019 - 7 June 2019)

A series of archaeological work was undertaken by AOC Archaeology between 28th of January and the 7th of June 2019. The works consisted of an evaluation, monitored topsoil strip, excavation and geophysical survey.

An initial phase of evaluation consisted of over 2000 linear metres of trenches, which revealed extensive features including ring grooves, linears and pits. These discoveries led to a monitored topsoil strip and an excavation of a c 4.5 ha area. The excavation revealed several prehistoric and early historic structures, as well as field boundaries and general settlement evidence across the site.

Eight cist burials were also uncovered during the excavation. Three of these were voided and had phenomenal preservation including textiles and organics. Four beaker vessels, two bone woggles and a copper alloy blade were recovered from the cists.

Information from Steven Watt (AOC Archaeology) July 2019

OASIS ID: aocarcha1-357122


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