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Gallows Knowe



The Erskine family and the Dun estate were a symbol of authority in the area. As you pass along the main drive and look to the right you might notice the small fenced-off area known as the Gallows Knowe.

The National Trust Of Scotland cares for the Gallows Knowe so that people can continue to give it new meanings linking the past, present and future. Gallows Knowe was built 3,500-4,500 years ago as a burial sound. Since then, people have thought about it in different ways and put it to different uses. The mound has played a role in community identity, power and authority. It has also been a symbol of the rights of certain people to call this place their own.

In the medieval period, the Gallows Knowe may have been used as a place of execution for the crimes of theft and manslaughter. The tradition that the mound was the for the medieval Barony of Dun was recorded by 19th century surveyors mapping the countryside around the House Of Dun. The Barony was a large territory administered by the Lord Of Dun. Gallows Knowe may have been chosen because it lay very close to Dun Castle, the lord's seat of power. The mound is also highly visible from the public road from Montrose. It would have been an obvious warning to passers-by of the punishment awaiting wrong-doers.

The medieval Baron may also have been held there. This was a sort of parliament and court of law. It sorted minor disputes between neighbours as well as passing judgement on more serious crimes. Monuments like Gallows Knowe were often used for important gatherings in medieval times and they provided impressive settings for ceremonies. Their association with an ancient, unknown past, meant they were seen as very powerful places.

Search Scotland - House Of Dun 2011.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
31st December 2014ce

Comments (1)

Possibly more.

Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
1st February 2015ce
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