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Govan, King George V Dock

Cropmark(S) (Period Unknown), Palisaded Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Govan, King George V Dock

Classification Cropmark(S) (Period Unknown), Palisaded Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Braehead; Glasgow; Shieldhall

Canmore ID 44189

Site Number NS56NW 3

NGR NS 5259 6642

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Govan (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

NS56NW 3 5259 6642

NS 5259 6629. An oval earthwork, enclosed by perhaps three ditches, and a circular structure within, is visible on air photographs. Visible on RAF air photographs 58/RAF/8893/F43: 0082-3.

Information from P R Ritchie, DoE to OS, 24 November 1972.

The cropmarks of an oval multivallate settlement have been recognised on vertical aerial photographs (58/RAF/8893.F43: 0082-0083, flown 1968). The site measures about 70m by 30m over at least four lines of ditches, not all of which may be contemporaneous. A ring-ditch, measuring up to 12m in diameter, probably marking the site of a round-house, is visible in the interior. Faint and amorphous cropmarks to the N of the settlement may be of archaeological significance.

Information from RCAHMS (MMB), 4 November 1999

RCAHMS rectified transcriptions show that this settlement enclosure is centred on NS 5259 6642. Cropmarks of a second settlement have been recorded 350m to the NW (NS56NW 15). Transcriptions of both these sites are contained within the NMRS manuscript MS 840/362.

Transcription prepared by RCAHMS (MMB) 1 November 1999

Transcription file MS 840/632, 1999

Information from RCAHMS (KB) 25 January 2000

NS 5252 6661 A multi-vallate enclosure identified as a cropmark at Braehead and the general land parcel within which it lay were subject to an archaeological evaluation in April to May 2000. The enclosure measured 76m NE-SW and 60m NW-SE. The characteristics of the negative features of the enclosure complex and those to the SW revealed during the archaeological evaluation are indicative of a later prehistoric settlement. The enclosure comprised three oval ditches with a series of associated palisades and a probable wattle fence. One extremely degraded fragment of wood was recovered from the N outer ditch but no other waterlogged organic remains were encountered. Within the interior were a ring-ditch house, a post-slot structure and numerous post-holes indicative of other domestic or ancillary structures. Only one artefact was recovered from the site, from within the N outer ditch terminal: a spherical slate disc, 0.15m in diameter with a central circular hole 0.03m in diameter. The site has been severely truncated by agricultural activity by between 0.35m and 0.85m.

A full excavation of the entire cropmark site will commence in April 2001.

Sponsors: CSC, IKEA.

C Ellis 2000

NS 5252 6661 The Braehead enclosure (NMRS NS56NW 3) was fully excavated between April and July 2001, with public access to the site in May and July.

The site was a prehistoric multi-phased, ditched and palisaded enclosure. The enclosure measured approximately 76m E-W and 60m N-S. It comprised three large ditches; eight structures, including at least four roundhouses (all located within the confines of the outer ditch); and numerous palisades. Recovered artefacts include coarse pottery, coal discs (interpreted as bracelet rough-outs), rubber stones, hammerstones and lithics.

In addition to the excavation of the enclosure, further trial trenches were machine-excavated. These confirmed that all archaeological features were confined within the enclosure, or immediately on its western edge.

Sponsor: Capital Shopping Centres.

C Ellis 2001.


Aerial Photographic Transcription (1 November 1999 - 2 November 1999)

An aerial transcription was produced from oblique aerial photographs. Information from Historic Environment Scotland (BM) 31 March 2017.


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