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Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum
156 High St
Biggar, ML12 6DH

Biggar Museum Trust SCIO, a registered charity in Scotland. Charity number: SC003695

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Home | Museum | Iron Age and Medieval Settlements

Main Collection

Iron Age and Medieval Settlements

The Iron Age in Britain was c. 800 BCE to the Roman invasion of 43 AD. As the name implies, the Iron Age saw the gradual introduction of iron working technology, although the general adoption of iron artefacts did not become widespread until after 500-400 BCE

The Medieval period refers to the 12th – 15th Centuries. These ‘Middle Ages’ were a period of massive social change. The displays focus on the ancient settlements, evidence of which have been found in and around the area of Clydesdale.

Collection Overview

Souterrain is from the French sous terrain meaning “under ground”, it’s used by archaeologists to a describe a type of underground structure associated mainly with the European Atlantic Iron Age. These structures appear to have been brought northwards from Gaul during the late Iron Age.

Hillfort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement. As the name suggests they were located in elevated positions for defensive advantage. The fortification usually follows the contours of a hill and often had stockades (a barrier of wooden posts) or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure found in Scotland. Brochs are also classified as a “complex Atlantic roundhouse” devised by Scottish archaeologists in the 1980s. Their origin is a matter of some controversy.

Crannog is a partially or entirely artificial island, usually built in lakes and estuarine waters. They are found in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. It’s believed Crannogs have been used as dwellings for over five millennia, from the European Neolithic Period to as late as the 17th/early 18th century.

Roman Fort were the permanent or semi-permanent bases of Roman troops. Camps, as the name suggests were temporary. Forts were a very important feature of the Roman period in Britain, as the British provinces were some of the most heavily militarised in the Roman Empire.

Motte & Bailey castle. The motte is the raised area of ground and the bailey is the walled courtyard, both are surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade. They were relatively easy to build with unskilled labour, but still militarily very sound. These castles, which originated in northern Europe in the 10th century onwards were adopted in Scotland in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Collection Highlights

Location of collection

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