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Conon Souterrain

Souterrain

<b>Conon Souterrain</b>Posted by nickbrandImage © nickbrand
Also known as:
  • Grange of Conon

Nearest Town:Arbroath (8km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NO573451 / Sheet: 54
Latitude:56° 35' 44.99" N
Longitude:   2° 41' 43.65" W

Added by woodhouse


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<b>Conon Souterrain</b>Posted by nickbrand <b>Conon Souterrain</b>Posted by nickbrand <b>Conon Souterrain</b>Posted by nickbrand

Fieldnotes

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This site lies in a field SW of a back road into Arbroath. Travel along the B961 which runs from the NE of Dundee until just before the hamlet of Cononsyth there is a crossroads. Take the road on the right towards Arbroath, and it's about 2/3 of a mile down here. Parking can be a bit awkward, but you'll see the site in the field - resembling nothing so much as a pile of overgrown rubble.

According to Canmore, air photography (21 May 2002) has recorded the soilmark of a possible souterrain here. There is certainly a pile of stones, laid up over what may be a large flat capping stone, with a similar smaller pile some thirty feet SW - possibly the other end of it. Certainly not a very exciting site!

Again, according to Canmore, the upper stone of a circular rotary quern, 52.5cm in diameter, was found in the field which lies to the S of that containing the souterrain, and is now in Dundee Museum.
nickbrand Posted by nickbrand
19th November 2002ce
Edited 28th February 2009ce

Visited October 2001. This souterrain was discovered in 1859 when " Mr Lindsay of West Grange of Conon lifted a large stone in one of his fields and revealed a curious bee-hive chamber." It made the Dundee telegraph of 4th June 1859. A Mr Jervise made some limited excavations and drew a plan. There is a main passage of 54 feet long, the beehive chamber connects to it about 1/3 down the tunnel..and there is even a short side tunnel off this connection. 20 feet north of the tunnel was a large paved area and some 10 to 40 feet to the NW some six burial sites were found. Finds at the site included humanbones, coloured pebbles, coarse pots, pieces of Roman amphora, a bronze armlet, grind stones, perforated pieces of lead and some corroded iron implements. ( now in the national museum). Subsequent visitors were damaging the structure and the passages were filled in..but it was said to be possible to still enter the beehive chamber in 1951and enter 17 feet of tunnel.

When I visited -it was to see if there was anything left, I had no intention of entering. It is as marked on the OS map and very easy to find. The beehive chamber has had the slab put back on it and the chamber appears to be still open beneath. 20ft to the NW there is also another pile of stone, presumably covering the main tunnel.

This site is very likely to be in a good state of preservation..eventhough/ as a result of the original builders backfilling it. It is unique in NE scotland terms for a) the beehive chamber b) th proto- pict burials( if that is what they are and c) the large paved area.

It has a typical and wonderful location...gently rolling slope down to the Tay estuary..and on a good day a fantastic view to sea and way far south. The prospect of talking to the farmer and lifting off the capstone is amazing; but you would need a few folks to do it and this site is really a gem which as it is -is preserved but inaccessible. Lets hope it stays preserved in some form or other.

Woody.

PS I will try to post some picture in due course.
Posted by woodhouse
14th November 2001ce