Ancient Monuments

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Helm End, fort and settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6035 / 55°36'12"N

Longitude: -3.4147 / 3°24'53"W

OS Eastings: 310962

OS Northings: 635335

OS Grid: NT109353

Mapcode National: GBR 43LN.J4

Mapcode Global: WH6V7.JF45

Entry Name: Helm End, fort and settlement

Scheduled Date: 24 May 1971

Last Amended: 11 March 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2945

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Broughton, Glenholm and Kilbucho

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a fort and settlement, probably dating from the Iron Age. The monument was originally scheduled in 1971, but the area covered by the designation did not relate accurately to the remains on the ground. The current rescheduling rectifies this.

The fort and settlement is situated on the summit of Helm End, at the end of the ridge that forms the watershed between the Holms Water and the Kilbucho Burn. It comprises a series of defensive constructions, the remains of three separate ramparts, which probably represent at least two major phases of occupation.

The two outer ramparts are roughly concentric and form an enclosure which is sub-oval in shape. The outermost rampart encloses an area measuring c.140m from NE to SW by c.100m transversely at its largest extent. An external quarry ditch occurs on the N and W. These two ramparts are pierced by entrances in the WSW and ESE parts of their circuits.

The third (inner) rampart encloses a sub-rectangular area, measuring c.70m from W-E by 55m transversely, with one entrance in the SW. Within the interior, the stone-walled foundations of six hut circles are visible, each c.5m in internal diameter. The northernmost hut circle was excavated in 1962. The house was almost exactly circular within a wall almost 2m thick. The vestiges of four low platforms protruded from the inner wall face. The entrance was on the E. The rocky floor was partly paved and contained nine post-holes, some of which might have derived from an earlier structure. Several quern stones were found within its walls. The excavated house was apparently late in the overall sequence for the site.

A drystone dyke traverses the centre of the fort, running from NE to SW. A further earthwork crosses the ridge further to the SW, although it has been lost to forestry on the SE side of the dyke.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is irregular in shape and has maximum dimensions of approximately 200m from NE to SW by 140m transversely, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract. The above ground elements of field boundaries within the scheduled area are specifically excluded from the scheduling designation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric settlement, architecture, economy and social organisation. Its importance is enhanced because it is a multi-period site, capable of providing information on the origins and development of defensive settlements, and on contemporary changes in land use and economy, over a period of time.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NT 13 NW 10.

References:

RCAHMS Peebleshire: An Inventory of Ancient Monuments '., 2v, Edinburgh, 20-1, No. 286.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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