Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Thirlstane,fort 350m north east of

A Scheduled Monument in Leaderdale and Melrose, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.7249 / 55°43'29"N

Longitude: -2.6874 / 2°41'14"W

OS Eastings: 356921

OS Northings: 648152

OS Grid: NT569481

Mapcode National: GBR 92N7.ZM

Mapcode Global: WH7W4.PCHL

Entry Name: Thirlstane,fort 350m NE of

Scheduled Date: 26 January 1989

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4611

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Lauder

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument is a fort of the Iron Age (some 2000 to 3000 years old) which is situated on a narrow promontory to the NE of the Thirlestane Burn. The site is bisected by a drystone wall which separates improved pasture from unimproved scrub. The promontory slopes slightly NW to SE and has steep slopes to the NE, SE and SW. The gentle NW approach has been defended by a massive bank and ditch, with a counterscarp bank, and second counterscarp bank outside it.

There are no traces of any defences around the lip of the promontory on the NE, SE and SW sides. The interior of the fort is featureless and measures c. 95m (NW-SE) x c. 40m transversely. The area to be proposed for scheduling includes the fort and an area around it in which traces of activity associated with its use will survive. The area respects the shape of the monument and measures 120m (NW-SE) x 55m transversely. The fabric above ground of the modern dyke crossing the fort is specifically excluded.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved example of an Iron Age promontory fort which has the potential to enhance our understanding of monuments of this type. Its importance is increased by the proximity of several other sites of similar date which, taken together, have the potential to increase greatly our understanding of the settlement, economy and development of the landscape in the Iron Age in this area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 54 NE 15.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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