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Fox Plantation

Cropmark(S) (Period Unknown), Enclosure(S) (Period Unassigned), Pit(S) (Period Unassigned), Pit Defined Cursus (Neolithic)(Possible)

Site Name Fox Plantation

Classification Cropmark(S) (Period Unknown), Enclosure(S) (Period Unassigned), Pit(S) (Period Unassigned), Pit Defined Cursus (Neolithic)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Mark

Canmore ID 79031

Site Number NX15NW 81

NGR NX 11468 57093

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Inch
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Wigtown
  • Former County Wigtownshire

Archaeology Notes

NX15NW 81.00 centred 1147 5710

NX15NW 81.01 NX 1150 5709 Enclosure: palisaded; Round House (possible)

NX15NW 81.02 NX 1150 5710 Enclosure

NX15NW 81.03 NX 1143 5709 Enclosure; Cropmarks

NX15NW 81.04 NX 1150 5710 to NX 1155 5716 Pit-alignment (possible)

Site recorded in November 1994 during a programme of geophysical survey and trial trenching carried out by GUARD along an 85km (52 mile) section of a proposed gas pipeline linking Scotland and Northern Ireland.

NX 117 571 Three fields were surveyed and trial trenched at Fox Plantation, an area known to be of archaeological significance from aerial photography and from the presence of lithic concentrations identified during fieldwalking. Each of the three fields contained cropmarks although the lithics were concentrated within the easternmost field. The easternmost cropmark was a linear, apparently double ditched feature. This was not located during trial trenching and may represent an extension to an existing farm track.

A further spread of cropmark features was located at the western end of the field which coincided with the main lithic concentration. Trial trenching at this location revealed a curving line of post holes. The centre of the three fields contained a large cropmark enclosure the presence of which was confirmed by trial trenching. The westernmost field contained a complex concentration of cropmarks which appeared to represent possible houses or small enclosures. The presence of these features too was confirmed by trial trenching. further excavation is currently under way at Fox Plantation (October 1995).

Sponsor: Premier Transco.

I Cullen and R James 1995.

NX 114 570 to NX 119 572. Rescue excavation was undertaken from late September to early November 1995 prior to the construction of a gas pipeline. A series of ten trenches, covering an area of c4500 sq m in total, were excavated. The main archaeological elements identified through excavation were as follows.

A line of 24 oval pits was found running across one trench. They measured between 0.6-0.8m long, and survived to a depth of up to 0.3m. These may represent part of a pit alignment.

In another trench two concentric curvilinear slots, c 4m apart, were excavated. The inner slot had a diameter of c14m and within the interior were a series of 15 pits/post- holes. It is probable that together these features formed a timber structure, possibly a house. to the S of the structure another curvilinear slot trench was discovered which may have formed a structure, possibly an enclosure.

From yet another trench, Beaker pottery was recovered from several pits. The assemblage included All Over Corded Ware in association with lithics and palaeoenvironmental remains. These 'Beaker pits' may be associated with a possible structure. Also excavated in this trench was a sequence of four intercutting pits, each containing flint representing different types of artefact and different stages in the flint-working process. Further analysis will determine if they represent the discarded waste from a single phase of tool production.

Excavated within another trench was a sequence of pits which produced evidence for some form of industrial activity, indicated by the presence of burnt layers and the recovery of cramp-like material. A small kiln, perhaps for drying cereal, had subsequently been built on the same spot.

Within another trench, evidence for a series of three concentric curvilinear slots was recovered, enclosing an area 10m in diameter. Excavation revealed the inner slot to bear traces of post-pipes and post-packing. The remains represent a timber-built circular structure, probably a house. Within the immediate vicinity of the structure were seven circular pits, ranging in diameter from 0.8-1.16m, and with depths of up to 0.4m. The fills of each pit comprised mixed dirty clays, thus the features may represent clay souring pits for the production of daub and/or pottery.

Activity relating to the Mesolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age was identified during the excavation. Of particular note were the remains of a series of round structures which probably represent Bronze Age and/or Iron Age houses. It is worth noting, too, the good correlation which existed in many places between the excavated features and cropmark evidence.

Following the excavations at Fox Plantation in 1995 a decision was taken to limit the width of the pipeline corridor there from the usual 30m to 4m, due to the probability of encountering further significant archaeological remains and the consequent desire to minimise potential destruction of those deposits. A further, smaller-scale excavation was nevertheless required and was undertaken prior to the insertion of the gas pipe in May 1996. The main excavated elements were as follows.

In one area part of a groove-slot and ring-post structure was identified and excavated. The structure had an internal diameter of c 8m and an entrance on its E 'side'.

The remains of part of another possible structure were identified and excavated in another area. These consisted of six pit/post-holes forming part of a ring with a diameter of c 7.5m, with a clear entrance to the E. Of particular note was the recovery of a polished stone axe, recovered from a pit cut within the interior of the structure. The axe, which had been modified to allow rehafting, was found in association with pottery, lithics and palaeoenvironmental remains.

Sponsor: Premier Transco Ltd.

G MacGregor 1996.

(Scheduled as settlement under cited place-name Mark).

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 5 October 1999.


Aerial Photographic Transcription (12 March 1993 - 21 October 1993)

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

Aerial Photographic Transcription (25 November 2011)


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