Ancient Monuments

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1 Greenburn, enclosure and pit alignments 190m north of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.8415 / 55°50'29"N

Longitude: -2.257 / 2°15'25"W

OS Eastings: 384004

OS Northings: 660952

OS Grid: NT840609

Mapcode National: GBR D0PW.5T

Mapcode Global: WH9Y1.9FHN

Entry Name: 1 Greenburn, enclosure and pit alignments 190m N of

Scheduled Date: 22 August 1991

Last Amended: 31 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5221

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Coldingham

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosure, pit alignment and several linear ditches, visible as cropmarks and of probable later prehistoric date. They are located between 140m and 165m above sea level on a small crest on the S face of an unnamed hill, just east of the Lint Burn. The monument was first scheduled in 1991 but the documentation does not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The monument survives as a series of truncated features visible in cropmarks recorded on a series of oblique aerial photographs from 2006. The main enclosure is irregular on plan defined by a single ditch that encloses an area around 45m N-S. The ditch is between 1 to 3m in width and there are three breaks in the circuit that may represent entrances. Within the interior of the enclosure are two roughly circular features, which may well represent the remains of roundhouses. Experience from similar sites shows that further remains should survive that are not visible as cropmarks.

To the south of the enclosure is a long curving linear ditch, totalling around 420m in length. At various points along its length, and parallel to it, short sections of pit alignments are visible, the longest segment being around 65m in length. A further ditch exists to the east of the enclosure, running SSE-NNW for a distance of around 125m. At its N end it then turns sharply west, running around 100m in this direction in a slightly sinuous line. A few small gaps exist in this N section, and a short segment of pit alignment is present around halfway along its length. Several short lengths of linear cropmarks, which appear to be pit alignments, run parallel to parts of both these features. A number of scattered and indeterminate cropmarks are also visible in the space between the enclosure and the linear features, and these may represent further related remains.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which evidence relating to their construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling extends up to but does not include the post-and-wire fence which marks part of the N boundary of the scheduled area. Specifically excluded are the above-ground elements of the post-and-wire fence that runs NNW-SSE across the site, and the above-ground elements of the telegraph poles crossing the field, 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

As a buried feature clearly visible in the form of a cropmark on recent aerial photographs, the monument is a good example of an enclosure, possibly a settlement, likely to be late 1st millennium BC or early 1st millennium AD in date, surviving well in an area of agricultural activity. Although the area has previously been cultivated, there is the high potential for evidence relating to domestic structures and the activities undertaken within and around them to be preserved as buried deposits within and around the enclosure. The linear features around the main enclosure also hold a high potential to inform us of the nature of occupation at this site, and their relationship with the enclosure itself. Buried deposits within the ditches have the potential to provide evidence of the environment within which the settlement enclosure was constructed. The ditch and other surviving negative features are also likely to contain deposits that can tell us about the economy of the inhabitants of the enclosure and surrounding elements, the date at which they were built, used and abandoned and what may have happened in and around the site subsequently.

Contextual characteristics

The monument belongs to a large and widespread class of later prehistoric enclosure sites found throughout Scotland. As such it has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of enclosures and enclosed settlements. This example is surrounded by an unusual set of linear features that are likely to be related to the enclosure and its use. It is rare to find such a complex of features, and this may represent an area of prehistoric domestic, agricultural or even ritual landscape. As well as individual features, the wider setting and context of these monuments can help us to understand their purpose and significance. The monument sits on the S-facing slopes of Horseley Hill on the southern side of the Eye Water valley, and has a strong view to the south.

The landscape of the Eye Water valley and surrounding area contains a variety of remains from the prehistoric period. The immediate vicinity of this site includes the similar enclosure at Greenburn, around 800m north-west of this site, and the forts at Warlawbank, Blackhouse and Sunnyside, all lie within 1.5km. Along with other parts of the Scottish Borders where there is similar survival, such an extensive landscape of prehistoric remains offers a unique opportunity to assess the Iron-Age environment, society and economy and the relationships between the physical remains of the period. Despite this, very little work has been carried out in the area to this end, and the Eye Water sites are important as an excellent potential study area for such work, the results of which could then be utilised much further afield across Scotland.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, in particular later prehistoric enclosures and associated features. This contribution extends to their location within the landscape and the relationship between them, as well as the Iron-Age society that created and inhabited them. The loss of the monument would impede our ability to understand the nature of later prehistoric activity, not just in the Scottish Borders but across Scotland, as well as the value placed on such monuments by later communities.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 86 SW 23

Aerial photographs used:

RCAHMS (2006) NT86SW Oblique aerial view Archive number DP 019469

RCAHMS (2006) NT86SW Oblique aerial view Archive number DP 019470

RCAHMS (2006) NT86SW Oblique aerial view Archive number DP 019474

RCAHMS (2006) NT86SW Oblique aerial view Archive number DP 019475


RCAHMS 1980, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Berwickshire District, Borders Region, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series no 10, 42, No. 364. Edinburgh: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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