Ancient Monuments

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East Reston, settlement 490m north west of

A Scheduled Monument in East Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.8471 / 55°50'49"N

Longitude: -2.1626 / 2°9'45"W

OS Eastings: 389918

OS Northings: 661555

OS Grid: NT899615

Mapcode National: GBR F0BT.LT

Mapcode Global: WH9Y2.R9DC

Entry Name: East Reston, settlement 490m NW of

Scheduled Date: 30 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12491

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Coldingham

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument comprises the remains of a double-ditched enclosed settlement, visible in cropmarks, of probable later prehistoric date. It is located at 75m above sea level on the crest of a small hill around 470m south of the Eye Water.

The settlement survives as two concentric ditches, 5-10m apart, enclosing an area around 65m E-W. The S side of the enclosure is not visible in the cropmarks. The ditches are comparable in width and measure about 2-4m. There is a possible entrance on the W side and another possible gap in the outer ditch on the ENE of the site. Further maculae (dark areas) within the enclosure are likely to indicate the surviving remains of internal features, such as buildings and other structures. The monument is also visible on the ground as a slight depression in the field.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in 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 above-ground elements of the post-and-wire fence, which marks the S edge of the scheduled area, and the above-ground elements of the telegraph poles are specifically excluded from the scheduling, 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 series of plough-truncated features clearly visible in the cropmarks on recent aerial photographs, the monument is a good example of an enclosed settlement site, likely to be late 1st millennium BC or early 1st millennium AD in date. The fact that the monument is also discernable on the ground as a slight depression suggests that its preservation is relatively good, despite its location in an area of arable cultivation. It is likely that a bank would have lain inside the circuit of the inner ditch and potential exists for survival of a buried soil beneath any remaining vestiges of this bank. Soils may also survive within the two ditches and these will provide evidence of the environment within which the settlement enclosure was constructed. The ditches and other surviving negative features also have the high potential 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 enclosed settlement sites found throughout Scotland. As such it has the capacity to contribute towards a better understanding of this monument class. 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 hill to the south of the Eye Water. There are good views in all directions, across and along the Eye Water valley. This section of the Eye Water valley 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. 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 settlement 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, as well as the value placed on such monuments by later communities.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT86SE 6: East Reston Mill, settlement. Scottish Borders SMR records the monument as 1060003, East Reston Mill 2: Fort.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS (1979) NT86SE 6 East Reston, fort, enclosure and possible pit-alignment BW 2572 PO.

RCAHMS (1986) NT86SE 6 East Reston A 29063.

RCAHMS (1998) NT86SE 6 Oblique aerial view of East Reston settlement D32883.


RCAHMS 1980, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF BERWICKSHIRE DISTRICT, BORDERS REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series, No. 10, 29, No. 227, Edinburgh, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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