The Lunan Valley Project: medieval rural settlement in Angus
Rural Settlement, Cropmark, Times, Enclosures, Angus Ground Survey, castle
Lunan Valley; Angus; Scotland; UK
18th Century, Medieval, Prehistoric, Later Prehistoric
In 1983/4 the Lunan Valley Project (later named Angus Archaeology Project) investigated part of lowland Angus for evidence of medieval settlement and land mangement.
The likely enclosure ditches around two historically 'known' medieval settlements were identified from aerial reconnaissance. One was subsequently excavated at Chapelton, and its medieval date was confirmed, but limited excavation within the enclosure failed to locate contemporary houses. A single small excavation at Red Castle, Lunan Bay, provided indications of interrupted occupation on part of the hilltop site from the late prehistoric or early medieval period to the documented abandonment of the castle. Further excavation and ground survey in the area produced evidence of a disastrous medieval sandstorm taking valuable land out of cultivation and probably causing the desertion of a pre-13th-century settlement at Corbie.
Without excavation a study of land divisions (upstanding and identified from cropmarks) provided limited information on the rate of change of the countryside through the medieval period. Most major boundaries, and a few minor ones, survived in use from the last prehistoric period to, and through, the medieval period. But the location of settlement, generally unchanged from the earliest documentary references (late 12th century to 16th century) appears to have undergone changes in the preceding millennium.