Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Kielhope Law, palisaded settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Kelso and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.4215 / 55°25'17"N

Longitude: -2.3437 / 2°20'37"W

OS Eastings: 378344

OS Northings: 614229

OS Grid: NT783142

Mapcode National: GBR D52R.DC

Mapcode Global: WH8YS.ZZ4P

Entry Name: Kielhope Law, palisaded settlement

Scheduled Date: 4 February 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10738

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: palisaded settlement

Location: Hownam

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Kelso and District

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises the remains of a palisaded enclosure, a defended settlement dating from the early first millennium BC, surviving as a series of upstanding earthworks.

The monument lies at a height of around 330-335m OD, on the westernmost of three rises forming the summit of Kielhope Law. The enclosure is subrectangular on plan and is defined by a trench up to 0.9m wide and 0.2m deep. This trench would have held the massive timbers of the palisade (a stout wooden fence), which once defended and delineated the settlement.

The area enclosed measures around 60m WNW-ESE by 50m transversely. It contains the remains of at least eleven circular timber buildings, the largest of which is about 13m in diameter. It is unlikely that all of these buildings would have been in use at the same time, indicating that this settlement may have had a long history of occupation.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is irregular on plan and has maximum dimensions of 80m from WNW-ESE by 70m transversely, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric settlement, architecture, economy, land use and social organisation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 71 SE 54.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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