Ancient Monuments

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Mayfield, enclosure 780m NNW of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.8441 / 55°50'38"N

Longitude: -2.2693 / 2°16'9"W

OS Eastings: 383233

OS Northings: 661244

OS Grid: NT832612

Mapcode National: GBR D0LV.HW

Mapcode Global: WH9Y1.3CNN

Entry Name: Mayfield, enclosure 780m NNW of

Scheduled Date: 22 August 1991

Last Amended: 31 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5227

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, visible as a cropmark, of probable later prehistoric date. It is located around 225m above sea level on a small crest on the SE face of an unnamed hill. 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 sub-circular feature visible in cropmarks captured on a series of oblique aerial photographs from 1984. Cropmarks represent negative archaeological features. These features retain moisture differently to the surrounding subsoil, resulting in variation of growth of the crops above. A single ditch encloses an area around 35m E-W by around 45m transversely. There is an entrance visible on the SE side of the ditch. Traces have been noted in the interior of the enclosure of a circular enclosure around 18m in diameter. This may represent the remains of an internal structure. The N edge of the enclosure is also overlain by the cropmark remains of two linear features, which are believed to represent the remains of a later field boundary.

The area to be scheduled is sub-rectangular 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 area to be scheduled extends up to but does not include the post-and-wire fence on the W boundary of the scheduled area.

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 cropmarks 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 in an area of agricultural activity. Although the area has previously been cultivated, evidence relating to domestic structures and the activities undertaken within and around them may be preserved as buried deposits within and around the enclosure, and this potential is enhanced by cropmarks visible within the enclosure. 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, the date at which it was 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. The landscape setting of monuments such as this was an important factor in their construction, and analysis of this can further enhance our knowledge of their purpose and significance. The monument sits on the summit of a small crest, on the south facing slopes of Horseley Hill on the southern side of the Eye Water valley. The site has good views in all directions.

This section of the Eye Water valley and surrounding area contains a variety of remains from the prehistoric period. 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.

Comparing and contrasting the situation of this settlement to other examples both nearby and within the wider area can enable an understanding of how such sites are positioned within the landscape, as well as provide enhanced contexts for Iron-Age economy and social structure. Information gained from the preservation and study of this site can be used to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of Iron-Age enclosed settlement 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 will impede our ability to understand the nature of later prehistoric activity, not just in the Scottish Borders but across Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 86 SW 34.

Aerial photographs used:

RCAHMS (1984) NT86SW Archive number A 22324

RCAHMS (1984) NT96NW Archive number A 22322

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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