As part of an ongoing process of archaeological investigation associated with the phased development of a large area of ground to the north and west of Winchburgh, West Lothian, staff from CFA Archaeology Ltd undertook an evaluation of a block of ground that appeared to contain a significant archaeological feature. This was identified as a parch-mark on an aerial photograph taken by the RCAHMS in 2007, and appeared to represent a roughly oval double-ditched enclosure.
As the location of the parch-mark could be identified from the aerial photograph with a high degree of accuracy, a number of trenches were excavated across it during the course of the initial evaluation; these radiated outwards from the centre of the feature, allowing investigation of both the interior and the enclosing ditches. This confirmed the presence of the enclosure, which measured around 62m NW-SE by 68m NE-SW across its outer ditches. The internal enclosure ditch was set 7 to 8m inside the outer ditch, and this defined an area measuring around 41m NW-SE by 50m NE-SW. No entrance in the internal ditch could be identified from the AP and nor was any found during the evaluation, but at least one entrance through the outer ditch was identified on its western side which measured 7.5m wide. No internal features were identified within the enclosure, although there was some evidence that a stone wall or rampart may have been present inside the inner ditch. Whilst no dateable finds were recovered from within the sections excavated across the ditches, it is most likely that the enclosure is prehistoric in date and represents the plough-truncated remains of a defended settlement.
In addition to this enclosure, a sub-rectangular pit was exposed in a trench to the south of it. The pit measured 16m long by 1.1m wide and was 0.3m deep. It was filled with blackish-grey clay containing what appeared to be heat-affected stones. This may represent the remains of a fire pit. Following the results of this evaluation, a second phase of work will take place to fully excavate the enclosure, to ensure that all information about the site is recovered.