|19 April 2009
Ancient past highlighted in Angus trail
The connection between an ancient civilisation and an Angus estate (Scotland) is being highlighted with a new trail for tourists. The Dun estate, near Montrose, is best known for its impressive 18th-century William Adam-designed mansion but the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is shedding some light on the area's earlier inhabitants. The house's grounds include five sites of international interest, three sites of early occupation and two burial areas, pointing to a history which stretches back more than 4,000 years.
One of the most prominent landmarks is Gallows Knowe, a large burial mound which is thought to date from around 2000 BCE. It takes its sinister name from the local tradition that it was used as a place of execution in mediaeval times. NTS has now erected a series of information panels around the estate to put the sites in context and take visitors back to its earliest times.
House of Dun property manager John McKenna said there is far more to the estate than first meets the eye. He said: "The house is the main attraction but people often miss the heritage going on in the grounds outside. The house picks up on another Pictish burial site across Montrose Basin and when William Adam designed it he deliberately lined the house up with it. When you look out of the grand saloon windows you can see it as a reminder of our ancestors."
While some of the sites have been the subject of archaeological investigations, Mr McKenna said the estate still holds many secrets. He added: "At least three settlement sites have been picked up by aerial photos in fields around the estate."
Source: The Press and Journal (18 April 2009)
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