Ancient Monuments

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No 9 Kirkbanny, settlement 360m west of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8022 / 55°48'7"N

Longitude: -2.1218 / 2°7'18"W

OS Eastings: 392459

OS Northings: 656552

OS Grid: NT924565

Mapcode National: GBR F1MB.FX

Mapcode Global: WH9Y9.CFT9

Entry Name: No 9 Kirkbanny, settlement 360m W of

Scheduled Date: 5 January 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12531

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Foulden

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of at least two enclosures and associated features interpreted as multi-phased settlement dating to the later prehistoric period, visible as linear cropmarks in cultivated land. The monument is located between around 115m and 120m above sea-level, 740m west of Deans Burn.

Cropmarks represent negative archaeological features, the fills of which retain more moisture than the surrounding subsoil, resulting in the enhanced growth of the crops above. The visible traces of the settlement consist of two distinct enclosures and other features. The smaller, sub-circular, enclosure is defined by double ditches between 2-6m apart and measures between 82-90m in diameter. The outer ditch is 1.5-3m in width, the inner ditch is between 3-6m in width. There are two possible entrances, one on the W side that measures 8.5m and one on the east that measures 10m. Two further breaks in the circuit of these ditches in the north-east and south-east are consistent with a former field boundary. A ring ditch lies within the interior of this enclosure measuring 23m in diameter with its E portion missing. This sits within the E side of traces of a larger circular ditch measuring around 45m in diameter, with a narrow ditch of around 1m or less in width.

These features intersect with the N area of a sub-rectangular enclosure of linear ditches. It is trapezoidal in shape and measures 120m SSW to NNE and between 114-150m WNW to ESE. The ditch measures between 1-3m in width and there is a further section, measuring 22m, within the E side of the interior. In addition to the portion where the two enclosures overlap to the N, there are two other gaps within this enclosure, at the NE and SE corners. At the SE corner the gap is formed by the S boundary of the enclosure deviating from its straight line and curving north. The sequence of the creation of these features and their relationship with one another is not clear from the cropmark evidence.

The area to be scheduled is trapezoidal in plan, to include the remains described and area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

As a complex of buried features, clearly visible in the form of cropmarks on aerial photographs taken between 1928 and 1990, the monument is a good example of a multi-phase site, probably representing settlement and associated activity. The form of the monument indicates that it represents at least one enclosed settlement dating to later prehistory. The multitude of intersecting features indicate several phases of activity through time and have the potential to inform our understanding of the development of settlement form and architectural style through time, as well as any changes from the original to subsequent functions. The monument has the capacity to inform our knowledge of the nature of frequency and duration of activity on the site through time and if it was continuous or episodic. The monument also has the inherent potential to further our understanding of why the location was significant and the reasons for its continued use through time.

Although the area is in cultivation the monument survives well and is unexcavated, and evidence relating to domestic structures and the activities undertaken within and around them may be preserved as buried deposits within negative features. Artefactual evidence can also further our knowledge of activities and practices at the settlement and inform our understanding of economic, social and ritual practices at the time. This includes trade and other contact with indigenous peoples from within the region or those from further afield, such as the Romans.

It is likely that a bank of upcast would have been created by the digging of the ditches and potential exists for the survival of a buried soil beneath any remaining vestiges of this bank, or any other features constructed over the contemporary landscape. These buried land surfaces have a great potential to inform our knowledge of the environment within which the monument was constructed. Soils may also survive within the lengths of ditch and these will provide evidence of the environment at time of construction and habitation. The ditches 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 is located on the N edge of the flood plain of Whiteadder Water, which is 1.8 km to the south. The situation is open in all directions and has particularly good views to the south. It is not a position that conforms to traditional ideas of defensiveness.

The monument is a good example of an enclosed settlement with signs of earlier and/or later phases of use. This part of the Scottish Borders is rich in evidence relating to later prehistory and is one of three identified concentrations of settlement that may imply a separate population or political entity. This monument has the capacity to inform our understanding of regionality in later prehistory. Comparing and contrasting evidence from this site with other sites within the region, and beyond, can aid our understanding of patterns of political and social affiliation and networks of contact and other mechanism of interaction, such as exchange, or trade.

Sites with clearly visible multi-phases of activity are less usual and this monument has an inherent potential to inform our understanding of different settlement forms and changes in style and function through time.

National Importance

This monument is nationally important because it has an inherent potential to contribute to an understanding of the past, in particular the construction, use and abandonment of enclosed settlement of the later prehistoric period. Further, the monument has the potential to inform an understanding of domestic settlement pattern, and archaeological deposits preserved within features of the monument may provide information about the society that created and used it. Of particular significance is the evidence of multiple phases of activity on the site and its potential to further our understanding of how settlement and associated activities changed and developed over time. The monument also retains the potential to contribute to knowledge of the environment within which it was built, used and abandoned.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT95NW 20. The Scottish Borders Council SMR records the monument as 1140007.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS (1979) NT95NW 20 Foulden Settlement No. 2701.

RCAHMS (1986) NT95NW 20 Foulden Settlement No. A29421.

RCAHMS (1990) NT95NW 20 Foulden Settlement No. B46356.

References:

Dent J and McDonald R 1997, EARLY SETTLERS IN THE BORDERS, Scottish Borders Council.

RCAHMS 1980b, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF BERWICKSHIRE DISTRICT, BORDERS REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series No. 10, 28, No. 226, Edinburgh, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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