Ancient Monuments

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Dirrington Great Law,three cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.7866 / 55°47'11"N

Longitude: -2.483 / 2°28'58"W

OS Eastings: 369809

OS Northings: 654915

OS Grid: NT698549

Mapcode National: GBR C13J.7H

Mapcode Global: WH8WZ.TTT9

Entry Name: Dirrington Great Law,three cairns

Scheduled Date: 7 February 1989

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4626

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Longformacus

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument is a group of three burial cairns of the earlier Bronze Age situated on the summit of Dirrington Great Law; they are about 3500 years old. The westernmost cairn measures about 17m in diameter and 1.8m in height within an irregular ditch. The easternmost cairn measures about 15.5m in diameter and 1.8m in height. These two cairns closely resemble the large cairn standing on the summit of Dirrington Little law, to the SW. Between the two large cairns lies a third cairn, measuring 7.5m in diameter and 0.5m in height, adjacent to an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar. This cairn can be compared with the small cairn on the S flank of Dirrington Little Law.

An area measuring 90m WSW-ENE by 50m transversely is proposed for scheduling to include the three cairns and an area around them in which traces of contemporary burial and ceremonial activities are likely to survive. The fabric of the OS pillar is specifically excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument, as a group of well preserved burial cairns, is rare in this area. The two larger cairns are particularly unusual because of their size. The cairns and the area around them are of national importance to the theme of early Bronze Age burial and ceremonial practices.

The two types of cairn on the summit of the Law may represent burial at two different times in the earlier Bronze Age. Comparison of the burial deposits in these cairns, and in the related cairns on the summit and flank of the Little Law would provide information of condsiderable importance to the study of the development of prehistoric burial.

The cairns are of particular importance because of their prominent position; this may reflect the high status in their society of the people buried there. Additionally, study of the old land surfaces covered by the cairns would provide information of national importance to the theme of prehistoric land use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as NT65SE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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