Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Horsburgh Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6407 / 55°38'26"N

Longitude: -3.1372 / 3°8'14"W

OS Eastings: 328514

OS Northings: 639162

OS Grid: NT285391

Mapcode National: GBR 63J6.LS

Mapcode Global: WH6V5.SH83

Entry Name: Horsburgh Castle

Scheduled Date: 11 December 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6284

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Innerleithen

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire


This monument comprises the remains of a late medieval tower-house and the traces of an earlier hill fort.

The tower sits at the top of a low domed hill. The entire E side of the building is now missing but the other walls still stand to a height of about 6m. Consolidation in the last century has obscured much of the evidence of arrangement of the tower but it appears that the ground floor was vaulted and the stair was in an outshot at the E end of the N wall.

The tower sits almost exactly in the centre of a hill fort which is only apparent on aerial photographs. The entrance appears to have been to the north with a double ditch. The fort has been slightly eaten into by a quarry on the south side of the hill.

The area to be scheduled is circular, centred on the tower, 100m in diameter but excluding that part of the circle which coincides with the quarry. It is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance as the well-preserved remains of a sixteenth century towerhouse. Judging by the depth of deposits within the tower the archaeology of the site has not been cleared. The fact that the tower is near the centre of a much older fort may not be entirely coincidental since it is not known how the fort had survived into the sixteenth century. This site, as well as offering the potential to increase our knowledge of two separate periods of occupation may also be able to increase our knowledge of monument decay rates and how ancient remains were viewed in Renaissance Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 23 NE 6.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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