Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Swanlaws, farmstead 250m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Kelso and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.4393 / 55°26'21"N

Longitude: -2.3605 / 2°21'37"W

OS Eastings: 377290

OS Northings: 616218

OS Grid: NT772162

Mapcode National: GBR C5YJ.RZ

Mapcode Global: WH8YS.QK50

Entry Name: Swanlaws, farmstead 250m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 30 January 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10747

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated and townships

Location: Hownam

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Kelso and District

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises the remains of a farmstead, possibly of late medieval date, visible as the footings of several stone buildings.

The monument lies between 230-240m OD on a steep west-facing slope, close to the confluence of the Kale Water and Swanlaws Sike. It comprises the massive stone footings of at least three rectilinear buildings set in a row. The southernmost building measures 15.8m E-W by 5m, within stone walls spread to 2.5m in thickness and standing up to 0.8m high.

The interior is levelled into the slope on the E to a depth of 1m and the floor at the W end is slightly dished; the entrance is on the S. The central building measures 10m E-W by 3.5m transversely, within a wall reduced to a stony bank 1m thick and up to 0.3m high. The possible footings of an earlier building can be seen offset some 1.2m to the S and extending 7.6m to the N.

The northernmost building measures 10.5m E-W by 3.8m transversely, within stone walls spread to 1.7m in thickness and standing up to 0.8m in height. The W end of this building may have extended a further 3m to the W, but has been obscured by a modern track. The E end of the building is levelled into the slope, and a bank runs southwards from the SE corner.

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 roughly rectangular on plan and has maximum dimensions of 60m N-S by 45m 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 medieval and later rural settlement, architecture, economy, land use and social organisation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Corser, P. (1982) Platform-buildings: medieval settlements in Eskdale, Dumfriesshire, in Scottish Archaeological Review.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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