Skelmorlie Mains

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Site Type MOUND
Canmore ID 40698
Site Number NS16NE 5
NGR NS 1995 6637
Council NORTH AYRSHIRE
Parish LARGS
Former Region STRATHCLYDE
Former District CUNNINGHAME
Former County AYRSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NS16NE 5 1995 6637.

(NS 1995 6637) Motte (NR)
OS 6" map (1969)

This artificial mound, at the head of Shaw Glen, was pointed out by Mr J H Murray (Pensilva, Skelmorlie). Its level top is 16.0m in diameter.
On the W side is a stream, and a broad, natural ditch isolates it on the E. A farm road has caused this ditch to be filled in on the N; the mound is 1.5m high on this side. There is no trace of a wall or bank round the summit of the mound, but its regularity suggests that it is probably a motte.
Visited by OS (JLD) 19 September 1956

This motte is generally as described in the previous field report. There is a ditch or water-worn gully on the N side and a ditch with counterscarp bank on the S side, the scarp of this latter ditch being about 1.3m high. The mound is from 4.0m to 5.0m above the stream on its W side.
Bracken and undergrowth obscure the ditches and the sides of the mound.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 29 October 1964

Newall, calling this a motte, names it Judge Mound, quoting Boyd's Guide. He adds that traces of a palisade mound run round the summit.
F Newall 1964

The eastern extremity of this mound has been truncated and two buildings associated with a nearby caravan park now abut this exposed (entirely earthen) side. A water tank sits on top of the mound, and waste pipes and dumping have obliterated detail of the gully or ditch on the S. Despite these changes, the overall appearance suggests this is a basically natural knoll with fortuitous gully lines around the N and S. The severe levelling of the otherwise featureless and grassed knoll top is of interest, but could well reflect a late usage. In all, there is no ground evidence to support this as a motte, and little indication that it is any form of antiquity. The name 'Judge Mound' was not known at nearby Skemorlie Mains.
Visited by OS (JRL) 3 March 1983

 
Books and References

Newall, F (1964f) 'Roman road, south of the Kelly Burn at NS/209283', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 21

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