Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Witches Knowe,fort

A Scheduled Monument in Haddington and Lammermuir, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.8629 / 55°51'46"N

Longitude: -2.7705 / 2°46'13"W

OS Eastings: 351875

OS Northings: 663569

OS Grid: NT518635

Mapcode National: GBR 903N.05

Mapcode Global: WH7VB.DWZT

Entry Name: Witches Knowe,fort

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1993

Last Amended: 8 August 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5861

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Yester

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Haddington and Lammermuir

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises the remains of a multi-vallate hillfort of prehistoric date surviving as a series of earthworks on the knoll known as Witches Knowe.

Witches Knowe is a steep-sided knoll on the S bank of a former stream and surrounded by somewhat higher hills, in the foothills of the Lammermuirs. The site commands only very limited views within its immediate vicinity. The N side of the knoll is defended by a very steep natural slope. The remainder of the circuit is defined by three ramparts enclosing an area of some 100m E-W by 45m. The area enclosed by the outermost rampart is some 150m E-W by 80m.

The middle rampart survives to the greatest height, up to a maximum of 0.5m internally and 2m externally. There are clear traces of a S-facing entrance represented by a gap in each of the ramparts and flanked on its E side by a stony bank abutting the middle rampart. The interior of the fort is uneven and aerial photographs suggest that it may contain the remains of circular domestic buildings.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the visible traces of the fort and an area immediately around it in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 170m ENE-WSW by 120m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to add to our understanding of prehistoric defensive settlement. The ramparts may be expected to contain evidence relating to the period, sequence and methods of construction of the fort while the interior may be expected to contain evidence relating to prehistoric domestic organisation and house construction.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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