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Star Inn Farm

Cropmark(S) (Period Unknown), Pit Defined Cursus (Neolithic), Rig And Furrow (Medieval), Round Barrow(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Star Inn Farm

Classification Cropmark(S) (Period Unknown), Pit Defined Cursus (Neolithic), Rig And Furrow (Medieval), Round Barrow(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Greystane Lodge

Canmore ID 85696

Site Number NO33SW 77

NGR NO 34170 30910

NGR Description NO 3412 3090 to NO 34260 30970

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dundee, City Of
  • Parish Longforgan (Dundee, City Of)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District City Of Dundee
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NO33SW 77 3412 3090 to 3426 3097

See also NO33SW 42.

Aerial photography has revealed a possible pit-defined cursus running WSW - ENE in a field to the W of the Invergowrie Burn. The cropmarks consist of an irregular line of pits in a field, which run for about 60m from c.NO 3416 3094 through one of the barrows (NO33SW 42), before curving S to produce a flattened terminal at c.NO 3410 3090. At this point the line of pits becomes blurred in other cropmarkings, but a returning line of pits is visible in two segments. The two lines of pits are parallel near the W terminal, but appear to splay away from each other further east. No E terminal is discernable, in an area where the ground drops away towards the burn.

Information from RCAHMS (RHM) 14 September 1995.

Transcription of the cropmarkings corrects the measurements: the N side runs ENE from NO 3412 3090 for about 85m with a further couple of pits another 50m away at NO 3426 3097; the S side is visible in two segments over a total distance of 50m; and the W terminus flattens around at about NO 3412 3090.

(For other sites in the vicinity see NO33SW 42, NO33SW 43, NO33SW 44 and NO33SW 56).

Transcription prepared by RCAHMS (RHM) 29 May 1996.

Information from RCAHMS (RHM), 29 August 1996.


Aerial Photographic Transcription (17 May 1996 - 18 June 1996)

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

Project (March 2000)

The survey was commissioned by Dundee City Council Department of Planning and Transportation in preparation for the Dundee and Angus Structure Plan. The survey, for which there was a limited budget available, comprised a desk-based assessment, site walkover/survey and a report cross-referenced with scaled, annotated maps and a gazetteer. The aim of the survey was to gather sufficient information to develop appropriate policies to ensure the protection of the archaeological heritage.

Sites and features were classified as being of National, Regional or Local Imprortance, or Other, as defined in National Planning Policy Guidelines No. 5 Archaeology and Planning (Scottish Office, 1994). In total, 31 sites and find spots were identified as falling within the study area, including eight Scheduled Ancient Monuments (some of these sites have been grouped by Historic Scotland and scheduled as one monument). In addition, a further 26 sites, including eight Scheduled Ancient Monuments, lie close to the boundary or in the immediate vicinity of the study area. The survey was carried out in March 2000 and the project archive will be deposited with Dundee City Council.

Information from SUAT Ltd, 2000

Archaeological Evaluation (2003)

Bett Homes Ltd/Cala Management Ltd, under the direction of the Farningham McReadie Partnership, commissioned SUAT to undertake an archaeological evaluation on the site of a village development at the Western Gateway, Dundee.

The site (centred on NO 341 311) lies to the north of the A85 trunk road and immediately to the west of the Swallow Hotel. It is bisected by the Fowlis Burn. The site lies within a concentrated area of cropmarks, partially delineated by a Scheduled Ancient Monument in two parts, both of which lie on the southern fringes of the development area… These are a cursus monument and an associated cluster of barrows, indicating a possible Bronze and/or Iron Age cemetery and ritual landscape. Several other cropmark sites exist in the surrounding area, further suggesting that the area is rich in prehistoric archaeology. The cropmark sites are overlain by medieval rig and furrow cultivation patterns.

A wide range of archaeological features have been recorded and investigated during this evaluation. Many of these can be directly associated with the cropmark evidence, revealing intenstive activity of probable Neolithic or Bronze Age date in this area along with later activity.

A majority of the archaeological features investigated appear to have been truncated to some degree, probably as a result of the cultivation and ploughing of this fertile area. The important remains identified in Trench 36, for example, appear to have been severely truncated and disturbed over a period of at least 20 years by ploughing (information from the local farmer). Some of the large number of linear and curvilinear ditches and slots recorded appear to represent the lower parts of features; their upper levels having been removed.

The evaluation also revealed a large number of additional features, particularly in Area 3 (the southern part of the development area), which did not appear as cropmarks. These features include linear and curvilinear ditches and pits, possibly representing a variety of settlement and/or ritual activity. This serves to demonstrate the value of investigating those areas which had no cropmarks or a relatively low density of cropmarks.

Also revealed by the evaluation were several geological features (represented by localised differences in the nature of the subsoil) which appear to have resulted in particular cropmarks and help to explain their irregular forms.

There was a general absence of artefactual evidence from the features investigated. This would tend to support a prehistoric date for many, although this can only be confirmed by more detailed excavation and sampling. Further work will be recommended, focusing upon those features thought to be of prehistoric date, as these represent a rare and important archaeological landscape which warrants detailed investigation.

Interestingly, there was almost a complete absence of medieval material on the site, both in the topsoil deposits and in features cut into the subsoil. The artefact evidence recorded, with the exception of a single sherd of medieval pottery from Trench 64, was of 19th-century or later date, and largely confined to the upper levels of the topsoil and to the fills of demonstrably recent cut features such as field drains. These features represent a much later phase of activity on the site than those described above, and most can be sufficiently understood following the work already carried out during this evaluation.

Information from SUAT, 2003

Cox, A. 2003. Swallow Village, Dundee; Archaeological Evaluation.


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