Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Burncastle,fort 400m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Leaderdale and Melrose, Scottish Borders

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 55.7569 / 55°45'24"N

Longitude: -2.7348 / 2°44'5"W

OS Eastings: 353980

OS Northings: 651750

OS Grid: NT539517

Mapcode National: GBR 91BW.Q4

Mapcode Global: WH7VX.YKWJ

Entry Name: Burncastle,fort 400m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1989

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4656

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) occupying the summit of the S spur of Willowcleugh Hill. The fort has been oval in plan but only the W, S, and E defences survive above ground. The site occupies two fields, the S part is what used to be a plantation, and the N part is an arable field which is regularly cultivated.

In the arable field the defences have been levelled but in the plantation they survive well at the S end and as low banks or terraces to the W and E. To the S there are three large ramparts and ditches with traces of a fourth, inner, rampart.

To the N air photographs of cropmarks indicate at least five lines of defence surviving as ditches only. The defences suggest that there were at least two construction phases. The original size of the fort is uncertain. The area to be proposed for scheduling includes that part of the fort inside the plantation and an area around it in which traces of activity associated with its use will survive.

The area is bounded by the farm track known as the Herring Road to the W, by the drystone walls to the S and E, and by the old field boundary, surviving as a high bank, to the N and NE. The area measures 180m (WNW-ESE) by a maximum of 140m transversely.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because, although parts of the site are poorly preserved, enough survives in good condition to give it the potential to enhance our understanding of monument of this type and period. Its importance is increased by the proximity of a number of sites of similar date which, taken together, have the potential to greatly increase 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 55 SW 12.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.