West Kirkcarswell


This photograph shows a small defended farmstead at West Kirkcarswell, Kirkcudbrightshire. A stoney rampart forms a near complete circle, surrounded by a ditch: the interior, approximately 11m across, is featureless.

A similar site at McNaugton's Fort, Dumfries and Galloway, dated to the last few centuries BC and included a single house.

Small defended farmsteads like these are quite common in fertile areas in the late Bronze and early Iron Age - the defences indicating increased raids and pressure on the land. Of course, these communities were not completely isolated, they shared common concerns with neighbours - perhaps cooperating on erecting a boundary ditch or repairing the defences of a farm. They also probably exchanged goods with people from further afield; and gatherings must have take place for weddings, and religious ceremonies and rituals.