Boundaries and Routeways

Stone dykes and quarries

Largely thought to be later than the turf dykes, and therefore dating to the post-Improvement period, stone dykes were used to reinforce land divisions and create new enclosures in the uplands.  On Casken Hill turf enclosures clearly were seen to underlie stone dykes and therefore predate the Improvement-period boundaries. In some cases the stone used to construct these dykes was quarried right next to the boundary such as on Waughenwae Knowe.  Along the length of the stone dyke between Keltie Estate and Knowes Farm several quarries were recorded.


On the last day of the 2009 survey season a non-systematic walk was undertaken between the Common of Dunning and the village of Dunning.  The aim of this walk was to look for evidence of the historic transhumance route between Dunning and its common grazings – perhaps of medieval origin.  This walk highlighted the natural topographic features which define the route and how both humans and cattle have made their mark.  On the summit of Chapel Hill, the topographical boundary to the Common, is also a substantial turf dyke defining the boundary between the Common and the land to the north.  To the east a sharply-defined cleft between Chapel Hill and North Hill may have formed a naturally-defined ‘entrance’ to the Common from the north, with traffic channelled towards this point by the substantial dyke.

Moving north from Chapel Hill, passing over Priest’s Knowe and Eldritch Hill in the direction of Knowes Farm, several discrete sections of braided trackways were identified.  Appearing as deeply eroded grooves on the steeps slopes and petering out on the level ground. These trackways were created as livestock dug in while climbing upslope and accentuated by water erosion.  The most extensive section of braided trackway comprised up to 12 individual tracks, some of which had been eroded to a depth of c.2 m.