Since the 17th century it has been fashionable for country landowners to develop the grounds or 'policies' associated with an important house or castle for pleasure and/or productive purposes. The lands incorporated into such a scheme can cover a considerable area, being laid out consciously for artistic effect over quite a distance. Designed landscapes may include parklands, walled gardens, water features, formal avenues and walkways, as well as pavilions, lodges and other buildings.
Redevelopment of parts of designed landscapes around old mansion houses is common, with some areas reverting to agricultural use while others are now built-up areas, Country Parks, or golf courses.
The linear cropmarks in the field adjacent to the ruin of Moncur Castle in Perthshire are probably the remains of avenues or roadways of its formal gardens. Crop marks occur when uneven growth of a crop reveal buried features.