Ancient Monuments

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Upper Chatto, deserted village and moated homestead

A Scheduled Monument in Kelso and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.4493 / 55°26'57"N

Longitude: -2.3728 / 2°22'21"W

OS Eastings: 376519

OS Northings: 617333

OS Grid: NT765173

Mapcode National: GBR C5WF.3D

Mapcode Global: WH8YS.J9BB

Entry Name: Upper Chatto, deserted village and moated homestead

Scheduled Date: 10 February 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10750

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 deserted medieval settlement, or fermtoun, visible as a series of upstanding earthworks.

The monument lies at a height of 205-230m OD on a sloping, mainly N-facing site straddling Coldside Burn. The main body of the village is laid out in two rows on either side of an eroded track (known as a hollow way). The footings of one stone-walled rectilinear building are visible, together with at least four rectangular platforms marking the sites of other structures.

The village would originally have been larger, but the remains of the buildings on the NE side of the settlement have either been overlain by the modern structures of Upper Chatto farm or disturbed by modern farming activities.

The surviving stone building measures a maximum of 7.2m NE-SW by 4.2m transversely, within walls 1m thick and standing up to 0.5m high. The entrance is on the SE side, facing the hollow way. The building platforms vary in size, but the largest is about 12m NE-SW by 5m. A rig-and-furrow field system surrounds the village.

On the opposite side of Coldside Burn, the remains of further enclosures, another stone-walled building and building platform, and a probable moated homestead occupy a low-lying terrace overlooking the Burn. A broad flat-bottomed ditch up to 3m wide with a low external bank defines the probable boundary of the moated homestead.

It can only be traced on the NW and SW sides of its presumed rectangular circuit; erosion at the edge of the terrace may have removed the SE side of the moat, while the NE side has been disturbed by the construction of the building and platform.

The moat encloses an area at least 15m NW-SE by 13m transversely. The overlying building is defined by a stony bank 1.4m wide by 0.3m high, enclosing an area 12m NE-SW by 4m, which is divided into two compartments by an internal wall. The platform lies immediately to the W.

The date at which the village was deserted is not known, but none of its buildings are depicted on the 'Plan of the Estate of Over Chatto' of 1808.

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 with maximum dimensions of 250m N-S by 150m transversely, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground elements of modern fences and dykes within the area to be scheduled ere specifically excluded.

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 and social organisation. Its importance is enhanced by its potential to provide information on the evolution of rural settlement in the area, given the presence of earlier and later features on the same site.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 71 NE 76.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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