Ancient Monuments

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Marygold, settlement 1025m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.8425 / 55°50'32"N

Longitude: -2.2976 / 2°17'51"W

OS Eastings: 381459

OS Northings: 661070

OS Grid: NT814610

Mapcode National: GBR D0DW.CG

Mapcode Global: WH8WW.PD2X

Entry Name: Marygold, settlement 1025m N of

Scheduled Date: 20 February 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12572

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Bunkle and Preston

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument comprises an enclosed settlement believed to date to either the late prehistoric or early historic period (late 1st millennium BC or early 1st millennium AD). The site, visible as an oval earthwork and ditch, lies mainly within a forestry plantation with part of the ditch on the north extending into a pasture field. The monument is situated on a ridge at a height of around 250m above sea level.

The monument is defined by an oval rampart composed of earth and stone with an outer ditch, creating an internal area measuring approximately 130m E-W by 100m transversely. The circuit of earthworks is largely complete, with the rampart measuring up to 2.5m in width and standing up to 2m in height above its ditch. What may be an entrance is visible on the WSW. A pair of sizeable scoops within the interior of the settlement indicates that the site has been partially quarried and further scoops have cut into the line of the rampart at various points.

The area to be scheduled is oval on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive and for its support and protection, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences and stone field walls 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 form and size of this monument suggests an enclosed settlement dating to the Iron Age or early historic period. Given the monument's position on a ridge, it is possible that it has not been subjected to intensive cultivation. Although parts of the interior and the rampart have been quarried in the past, at least half the site appears not to have been disturbed and there is good potential for the preservation of archaeological deposits relating to the construction, occupation and subsequent abandonment of the settlement. Evidence of domestic occupation is likely to comprise buried deposits of round timber or stone huts, other domestic structures and remains of craft and industrial activity. Such evidence has the potential to enhance our understanding of the social structures and domestic architecture of the people who built and used this monument as well as the character of late prehistoric or early historic period fortifications.

Contextual characteristics

Sited on a prominent ridge, the site possesses good views in all directions, although forestry now obscures the viewsheds to the east and west. This monument offers us an insight into the vernacular architecture and everyday lives of people living in enclosed settlements in the later prehistoric/early historic period in SE Scotland. The site also provides an example of the types of defences used in such settlements and the ways in which these may have evolved over time. The monument lies within a wider later prehistoric/early-historic landscape that includes a number of similar settlements as well as enclosures and earthworks. Of particular note are the pair of forts to the SW and the remains of a large rectilinear earthwork, which adds considerably to the interest of this site. To the SSE and SE, aerial photography has recorded cropmarks of what are interpreted as field systems and ring-ditch enclosures as well as an enclosed settlement. Comparisons to these and other monuments surviving as earthworks and as cropmarks across the SE Borders may help create a broader appreciation of regional identity and society and the degree of local variation within the region.

Associative characteristics

The site appears on the 1st edition of the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map as an earthwork and is annotated as 'Camp'. The site of an old quarry is depicted and is annotated as being for whinstone.

National Importance

This 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 or early-historic period enclosed settlements in the SE Scottish Borders. Despite some quarrying, the good condition of this monument, a result of its relative unsuitability to cultivation and inclusion in a forestry plantation means that it possesses excellent potential to make a significant contribution to our knowledge of fortifications, vernacular architecture, landuse and society in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland in the later prehistoric/early historic period. The site is one of several well-preserved enclosed settlements set within a wider later prehistoric/early-historic period landscape extending to the west of Reston. Surviving as a mixture of visible earthworks and cropmarks, this landcape of settlements, field systems and enclosures provides a valuable comparison to others across SE Scotland. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the later prehistoric/early-historic landscape and its inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records this site as NT86SW 5.


Carter S 1997, 'St Abb's Head (Coldingham parish), survey', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 1997, 66.

Kinghorn R 1935, 'Unrecorded Berwickshire antiquities...', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT, 69, 1934-5, 165.

Lynn F 1897, 'Bunkle Edge Forts', HIST. BERWICKSHIRE NATUR CLUB, 15, 2, 1895.

RCAHMS 1980, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF BERWICKSHIRE DISTRICT, BORDERS REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series, No. 10, 28, No. 218, Edinburgh, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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