Ancient Monuments

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Cornhill Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6577 / 55°39'27"N

Longitude: -2.2332 / 2°13'59"W

OS Eastings: 385424.442374

OS Northings: 640489.559026

OS Grid: NT854404

Mapcode National: GBR D3V0.9P

Mapcode Global: WH9Z0.N2S1

Entry Name: Cornhill Castle

Scheduled Date: 5 June 1961

Last Amended: 27 March 2012

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006508

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 330

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Traditional County: Northumberland


The remains of a medieval tower house and barmkin, set within a small, naturally defended promontory demarcated on the south side by a prominent ditched feature. The site is situated upon a high promontory overlooking the River Tweed and is identified as that of the well documented Cornhill Castle.

Source: Historic England


The buried and earthwork remains of a small castle are situated in a prominent position on a high spur above the River Tweed, which here forms the National border between England and Scotland. The castle is visible as a sub-rectangular enclosure, which measures a maximum of 42m north-east to south-east by 25m transversely. The west side of the enclosure is afforded natural defence by the precipitous river-cliff some 21m high above the River Tweed and the north and east sides by the steep valley of an unnamed tributary. It is enclosed on the south side by a ditch between 3.1 and 3.3m deep, connecting the stream with the river cliff; there is a well preserved entrance and causeway through the south side of the monument. A slight scarp a maximum of 0.15m high is visible along the south-east edge of the enclosure. The buried remains of the former tower, barmkin and associated features survive within the interior of the monument.

Extent of Scheduling: the scheduling includes the full extent of the promontory upon which the castle sits and the ditch which defines it to the south. It extends to the foot of the natural slope to the north-west, the stream line to the north-east and the fence line to the south (but not including the fence). This is an irregular shape measuring approximately 92m north-south by approximately 80m east-west at its greatest extent and which includes a margin of 2m around the monument in order to ensure the adequate protection of the castle.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The remains of Cornhill Castle is designated for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: despite the fact that the tower house has been levelled, Cornhill Castle retains significant archaeological deposits.
* Potential: there is still much to learn about medieval settlement and society in the Border areas of England, and this monument adds significantly to our knowledge and understanding of the form and role of defensive settlements at this time.
* Association: the settlement sits between the strongly defended border strongholds of Norham and Wark on Tweed castles (both Scheduled Ancient Monuments) which provide strong contemporary association.
* Period: as a Border stronghold, this monument makes a significant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the period.

Source: Historic England


Northumberland County Council HER: 962,

Source: Historic England

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