Ancient Monuments

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Scooped settlement 136m south west of Glenveg

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5153 / 55°30'54"N

Longitude: -3.4195 / 3°25'10"W

OS Eastings: 310465

OS Northings: 625528

OS Grid: NT104255

Mapcode National: GBR 44KN.HR

Mapcode Global: WH6VM.FMXS

Entry Name: Scooped settlement 136m SW of Glenveg

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1972

Last Amended: 21 April 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3214

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: scooped settlement

Location: Tweedsmuir

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire


The monument is a scooped settlement dating to the Iron Age (800BC-AD400). It survives as an oval enclosure with upstanding turf covered stone walls. There is an entrance to the east and internally two scooped yards. In the northwest quadrant of the enclosure, and above the smaller of the yards, there is a hut platform. The monument sits on a broad shelf at the foot of Nether Oliver Dod. To the southeast the ground steadily falls to meet the River Tweed.

The settlement is roughly oval and measures 32m north-south by 38.5m east-west. The enclosure wall measures 94m in length by 4m wide with a cut bedrock foundation and an entrance 3.5m wide. The hut platform measures 11m north-south by 12m east-west internally. The smaller yard measures 14m northeast-southwest by 8m northwest-southeast internally and the larger yard measures 23m northwest-southeast by 13m northeast-southwest.

The scheduled area is irregular. 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. The above ground elements of all modern post and wire fences are specifically excluded from the schedule.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a. The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the past as a scooped settlement dating to the Iron Age. In particular, it adds to our understanding of Iron Age society in southern Scotland and the construction, use and development of later prehistoric settlements.

b. The monument retains structural and other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past. The monument survives as upstanding turf covered stone walls. There is also a significant likelihood for the survival of buried archaeological deposits within and around the settlement.

d. The monument is a particularly good example of a scooped settlement. It has an external wall and visible internal features. It is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding of the past. In particular it can tell us about the character and development of Iron Age settlements in southwest Scotland as well as society and economy. It may also tell us about the nature and duration of local contact with the Roman Empire

f. The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape by its association with a wider cluster of later prehistoric remains.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is a scooped settlement with a hut platform with a small courtyard and a larger yard. It survives as upstanding turf covered stone walls and buried deposits. Its form is clearly visible in LiDar imagery. Scooped settlements were most likely farmsteads wholly or partly scooped into a slope, often with hut platforms providing foundations for roundhouses. This settlement may have accommodated an extended family and at certain times their livestock. Scooped settlements date to the Iron Age (c.800BC-AD400).

Excavation of similar scooped settlements in Dumfries and Galloway has shown the potential for these sites to have multiple phases of occupation. This has been supported by radiocarbon dating. For example, Long Knowe (scheduled monument SM3819; Canmore ID 67287) dated to 765BC-495BC and 360BC-240BC. Boonies (Canmore ID 67818) has been dated to AD61-AD155 and excavation uncovered artefacts such as querns and stone tools, native and Roman pottery along with items of personal decoration; a piece of glass bracelet and a penannular brooch (R Mercer 1981, 67, 69; G Jobey 1973, 122-3, 125, 130, 133-4).

The scooped settlement at Glenveg also has the potential for multiple phases of occupation. It is likely to contain archaeological deposits from which samples can be gathered for environmental analysis and radiocarbon dating. Artefacts such as stone tools, pottery and decorative items may also survive. Detailed study of the roundhouse(s), yard and enclosure wall can tell us about their construction, use, reuse, repair and abandonment. The monument has the potential to tell us about the wider prehistoric landscape; development of the settlement over time; society and the lifestyle of the inhabitants; the nature of the local economy, for example agriculture as well as possible trade and contact with the Roman Empire.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

The monument sits on a broad shelf at the foot of Nether Oliver Dod with a view along and across the Tweed valley from the northeast to the southwest and across the Tweed River to the southeast. This location is characteristic of many scooped settlements which are primarily found in eastern Dumfriesshire, the Scottish Borders, and the north of England. Around 200 such sites have been recorded in Scotland.

The monument is part of wider cluster of prehistoric settlements in the area, including Nether Oliver Crags, fort (scheduled monument SM2947) 467m to the SW; The Chester, enclosure 180m NE of Glenrusko (scheduled monument SM2817) 470m to the SSE across the Tweed; Oliver Castle, fort (scheduled monument SM3144) 712m to the SW and Whiteside Rig, fort and enclosure (scheduled monument SM3467) 1km to the SE.

There is potential to study these sites together to better understand their functions within the local communities, settlement hierarchy and possible chronological development in the area. The monument has the potential to enhance and broaden our understanding of prehistoric settlement distribution, social organisation, land division and land use.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this monument's cultural significance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 49768 (accessed on 21/10/2020).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference 49768 (accessed on 21/10/2020).

Mercer, R. 'The excavation of an earthwork enclosure at Long Knowe, Eskdale, Dumfriesshire, 1976', in Transactions Dumfriesshire Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, 3rd, vol. 56. p. 38-72 (Dumfries, 1981). [Available at: Accessed on: 22/10/2020].

Jobey, G. 'Excavations at Boonies, Westerkirk, and the nature of Romano-British settlement in eastern Dumfriesshire', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 105. p.119-40 figs. 1-8 (Edinburgh, 1973) [Available at: Accessed on: 22/10/2020].


Scottish Remote Sensing Portal. Phase 3 NT12NW [Available at:

Metadata Available at: Accessed on: 22/10/2020].


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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