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Menzion Farm, settlement 735m SSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.4905 / 55°29'25"N

Longitude: -3.4426 / 3°26'33"W

OS Eastings: 308946

OS Northings: 622801

OS Grid: NT089228

Mapcode National: GBR 44DY.HM

Mapcode Global: WH6VT.28Y7

Entry Name: Menzion Farm, settlement 735m SSW of

Scheduled Date: 22 November 1968

Last Amended: 15 March 2019

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2750

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: platform

Location: Tweedsmuir

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

Description

The monument comprises an unenclosed Iron Age settlement terraced into the western slopes of The Rig. It survives as a pair of house platforms with connected yards on terraced areas below the house platforms.

The platforms, which would have supported timber round houses or other structures, are terraced into the slope of The Rig. The northern most platform measures around 7.5m in diameter, the other measures around 12.5m (north-south) by 8.5m (east-west) across and survive as grass covered platforms, with a scarp or scoop to the rear and a lip or apron on the downslope side. Connected to and below the house platforms are two larger terraced areas are likely to be yards with possible entrances on their southern edges.

The scheduled area is rectangular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of the monument has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

The monument is an unenclosed settlement of the later prehistoric period. It survives as a pair of platforms terraced into the slopes of The Rig with yards on separate platforms below. The upper platforms are around 7.5m in diameter and have been formed by the creation of a terraced sub-circular area on the hillside. They have crescentic rear scarps formed by cutting into the slope and are fronted by a forward scarp which falls to meet the larger terraced area below. The monument was recorded as an unenclosed platform settlement (RCAHMS 1967). At that time five platforms were recorded, the lowest being by the road side. No platform is now visible by the road, however, a quarry scoop, probably created during road works is present and this may have been misidentified as the truncated remains of a fifth platform.

Although recorded as an unenclosed platform settlement, the surviving remains suggest a later date as they are closer in form to Iron Age settlement elsewhere in the south of Scotland. Although the monument is located within an area of commercial forestry, the upstanding remains are clear and survive in a good condition. The level of preservation and the cohesive nature of the settlement are an important aspect of the monuments' intrinsic characteristics and contribute to its national importance.

Later prehistoric settlement that utilises platforms or scoops in hillsides are common across southern Scotland. However, most of these are enclosed by one or more earthen or stone banks. This monument, shares certain field characteristics with these sites but appears to be unenclosed. There is no indication whether the remains have an extended development sequence, however, scientific study of the form and construction of the monument has the potential to clarify the date of the remains and the development sequence at this site. Comparative study of the form and structure of this monument has the potential to provide information about the design, construction and development of later prehistoric settlement.

There is good potential for the survival of archaeological deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal and pollen within, beneath and around the remains of the platforms. These deposits can help us understand more about prehistoric domestic and agricultural practice, and the significance of materials, technology and craft in a domestic-agricultural context. This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of settlement, land-use and environment during later prehistory, and provide information about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants and the structure of contemporary society and economy.

Contextual Characteristics

In form there are no other prehistoric sites in the surrounding area which are directly comparable to this monument, however, there are other later enclosed prehistoric sites in the vicinity that do have parallels. Three of the closest are located around Wood Hill (15.5km to the northeast), all of these have a platform with a lower yard; Wood Hill, settlement 230m E of (scheduled monument: SM3055), Wood Hill 2 (Canmore ID: 51374) and Wood Hill 3 (Canmore ID: 51388).

The local landscape contains also a number of other later prehistoric settlement sites such as Whiteside Rig, fort and enclosure (scheduled monument: SM3467), Glenveg, scooped homestead SW of (scheduled monument: SM3214) and Oliver Castle, fort (scheduled monument: SM3144). Some or all of these are likely to date to the later prehistoric period and therefore constitute and important grouping of later prehistoric monuments in this area. In addition, there are number of earlier prehistoric monuments such as enclosed cremation cemeteries, unenclosed platform settlements and palisaded settlements. Study of the location and distribution of these monuments has the potential to provide information on the prehistoric landscape of the Upper Tweed valley.

Associative Characteristics

There are no known associative characteristics which contribute to the site's national importance.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it makes a significant addition to our understanding of later prehistoric society and the construction, use and development of settlement in the south of Scotland. This monument is a rare example an unenclosed later prehistoric settlement that retains its field characteristics to a marked degree. As such there is significant potential for the survival of archaeological deposits within and around the platforms. As a well preserved example of a prehistoric settlement, the monument can significantly enhance our understanding of domestic buildings, agriculture and economy in the Iron Age in southern Scotland. The close proximity of other, probably contemporaneous, prehistoric sites adds to the monument's importance and enhances our knowledge of the later prehistoric landscape of southern Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 48548 (accessed on 28/01/2019).

RCAHMS 1967. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Peeblesshire: an inventory of the ancient monuments, 2v. Edinburgh. Page(s): 74, No.185.

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/48548/

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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