Ancient Monuments

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Lumsdaine, settlement 700m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.9211 / 55°55'16"N

Longitude: -2.2031 / 2°12'11"W

OS Eastings: 387403

OS Northings: 669802

OS Grid: NT874698

Mapcode National: GBR NFX2.3DM

Mapcode Global: WH9XP.4F5M

Entry Name: Lumsdaine, settlement 700m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 4 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12348

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Coldingham

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument comprises an enclosed settlement of later prehistoric or early-historic date (late 1st millennium BC/early 1st millennium AD). It is visible as earthworks enclosing the S approaches of an unnamed rocky, steep-sided crag that overlooks the North Sea at a height of approximately 160m above sea level.

The earthworks comprise a pair of ramparts with a medial ditch, approximately 20m in length, that fortify the easier landward approach to the summit of the crag, while sheer cliffs provide excellent natural defences on the north and west. The interior of the settlement is roughly oval and measures approximately 30m by 62m. The area is largely overgrown by whin bushes with patches of grass and exposed rock visible and no surface traces of internal features are visible within the settlement. Of the two ramparts, the innermost is the better preserved and is composed of earth and stones. The inner rampart is heavily spread and, in places, erosion as a result of burrowing and sheep scrapes has exposed the stony core. The inner rampart stands up to 0.5m high and is around 4m broad. The medial ditch is up to 5m wide, around 1m-1.5m deep and has a broad U-shaped profile. The outer rampart stands on the E lip of the ditch and appears to be composed of earth and stone. It stands up to 0.2m in height and is around 3m broad. An entrance is visible on the NE, appearing as a 3m break in the ramparts and ditch and the defences continue up to the cliff edge, although the ditch appears shallower and narrower at this point.

The area to be scheduled is sub-oval on plan, to include the visible remains described above and an area around in which evidence relating to their 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

The monument is visible as upstanding earthworks and represents a good example of an enclosed settlement of late-prehistoric or early-historic date. The settlement occupies a commanding position with extensive views across the surrounding area, particularly the coastline to the north. Although the ramparts have suffered erosion, what survives is sufficient to trace the course of the settlement's defences. The ramparts are likely to seal an ancient ground surface that could provide evidence of the environment when the settlement was built and occupied, while the fills of the ditch have potential to preserve archaeological deposits relating to the site's occupation. Although no surface remains are visible within the settlement, the lack of cultivation or quarrying at the site indicates excellent potential for the preservation of archaeological remains. Buried deposits from within the fort may preserve evidence relating to potential domestic structures and the economy of its inhabitants. This evidence may enhance our understanding of the social structures and domestic architecture of the people who built and used this monument.

Contextual characteristics

The site has potential to offer 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. Comparison to other enclosed settlements in the area around St Abbs and to the many others surviving 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 name Haly Jo is not used locally and the rocky crag is usually referred to as Jock's Neb.

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 late-prehistoric or early-historic settlement in the SE Scottish Borders. The archaeological potential of the interior of the settlement is particularly good as the site appears to have been undisturbed by cultivation or quarrying. Domestic remains and artefacts from this site have the potential to enhance our understanding of wider prehistoric society, its architecture, how people lived, the nature of the settlement's economy, where its builders and inhabitants came from and who they had contacts with. Such remains may also be able to offer an insight into the overall function of enclosed settlements and the place they held in the local landscape. There is good potential for the recovery of environmental evidence from the ground surfaces sealed by the ramparts and from the fills of the ditch. Deposits such as these have the potential to inform us of the character of the local landscape at the time the settlement was occupied and the way it was managed. Sites in marginal land surviving as upstanding earthworks can enhance our understanding and appreciation of similar monuments that exist in arable landscapes as cropmarks.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NT86NE 3. The Scottish Borders Council SMR designates the site as 1060021.


Kinghorn R 1935, 'Unrecorded Berwickshire antiquities, being the Chalmers-Jervise Prize essay for 1933', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 69, 164-5.

RCAHMS 1980, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF BERWICKSHIRE DISTRICT, BORDERS REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series, 30, No. 237, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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