Ancient Monuments

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Fosterlands, enclosure 695m north of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.8426 / 55°50'33"N

Longitude: -2.2757 / 2°16'32"W

OS Eastings: 382830

OS Northings: 661076

OS Grid: NT828610

Mapcode National: GBR D0KW.3F

Mapcode Global: WH9Y1.0DLV

Entry Name: Fosterlands, enclosure 695m N of

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1991

Last Amended: 5 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5023

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Bunkle and Preston

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument comprises the buried remains of enclosure interpreted as a settlement dating to later prehistory and likely to be Iron Age (late centuries BC/early centuries AD) in origin. It survives as an interrupted circular ditch feature showing in oblique aerial photographs. The monument lies in cultivated land at about 220m above sea level at the SE end of the Lammermuirs, above the Merse. The monument was last scheduled on 28 March 1991 but the scheduling does not meet modern standards; the present rescheduling rectifies this.

This settlement is enclosed by a single-ditched feature 50m in diameter that appears in current aerial photographs to be interrupted by possible entrances at the NE and WSW arcs. The southernmost part of the monument is not visible on existing aerial photographs because of a different cropping regime in this field. Likewise, the surviving features and deposits contained by the ditch cannot be readily seen in current aerial photographs.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of a post-and-wire fence and gate running NW-SE at the W side of the monument and a second post-and-wire fence running ENE-WSW at the S side of the monument, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument survives as a buried, negative feature to a marked degree, and aerial photographs display its form and possible entrance features. The ditch fill and buried soils within the space that it encloses are likely to seal important artefactual and ecofactual evidence that may include the structural remains of individual buildings and evidence for associated activities. The monument has much to tell us about the date, nature and construction of these enclosed settlement sites, the activities undertaken by those who lived here, the conditions and wider environment.

Contextual characteristics

This is one of a distinctive group of similar enclosed settlements in SE Scotland and part a Scotland-wide group of Iron-Age enclosures that appear to have been built in a variety of locations and with defence specifically in mind. A larger enclosed monument 120m to the south adds to the significance of this position in the immediate landscape and both monuments mark an important transitional route between the Lammermuirs to the north and low-lying Merse to the south. As with similar monuments along the southern edge of the Lammermuirs, this was an important place exploited by the communities that settled here in later prehistory and it provides a very interesting contrast to those contemporary, enclosed settlements that survive as cropmarked remains along the water courses and low-lying lands of the Merse.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular later prehistoric/early-historic enclosed settlements and the control and exploitation of the upland margins of SE Scotland. The structural field remains, including the enclosing works and entrances, survive to a marked degree and it is likely that significant buried deposits survive within the ditch fills and occupation layers of the interior. It commands extensive views to the south that archaeologists think are important in its location here and, combined with a neighbouring fort, it marks out the importance of these types of locations. The loss of this monument would affect our ability to appreciate and understand the prehistoric landscapes (and contemporary occupation) of SE Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 86 SW 36 and Scottish Borders Council SMR as 1030055.

Aerial Photographs consulted:

RCAHMS 1984. A 22327 Greenburn Plantation Enclosure 2

RCAHMS 1984. A 22328 Greenburn Plantation Enclosure 2

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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