Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Tamshiel Rig, fort, settlement and field system

A Scheduled Monument in Hawick and Denholm, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.3498 / 55°20'59"N

Longitude: -2.5645 / 2°33'52"W

OS Eastings: 364303

OS Northings: 606342

OS Grid: NT643063

Mapcode National: GBR B6JL.L2

Mapcode Global: WH8Z2.LS1N

Entry Name: Tamshiel Rig, fort, settlement and field system

Scheduled Date: 11 March 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10605

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: field or field system

Location: Southdean

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Denholm

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises the remains of a fort, settlement and field system, probably dating from the later first millennium BC, visible as upstanding earthworks.

The monument was originally scheduled in 1961 (index number 2171), but was descheduled in 1990, in the mistaken belief that forestry ploughing had largely destroyed the site. Although the western section of the monument was seriously damaged by ploughing, the rest of the site survived afforestation. This current scheduling recognises both the importance of the remains and their continued survival.

The monument lies between 240m and 270m OD on the N-facing slope of Tamshiel Rig, overlooking the Black Burn. The fort is the earliest element of the monument and has been extensively overlain by later work, but it appears to have had at least two ramparts and ditches defining an area roughly circular on plan with an overall diameter of about 85m.

The settlement superimposed on the fort is also roughly circular on plan and measures about 40m in diameter, within an earth and stone bank about 3m wide and up to 1m high. The remains of several roundhouses are visible within the fort and settlement and there is a well-defined entrance to the settlement on its E side.

The remains of an extensive field system are visible around the W and N sides of the fort and settlement; this field system is possibly contemporary with the settlement. The field system is enclosed by a sub-circular arrangement of field banks. At a much later date, stone has been taken from the fort and settlement to build a sheepfold, which occupies the NW quarter of the settlement.

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 measures a maximum of 520m from NNE to SSW by 320m 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 later prehistoric settlement, economy and social organisation. The relationship between the different settlement phases on the site is of particular interest. The monument has also been the focus of important archaeological work to investigate the impact of forestry planting on archaeological deposits, and offers opportunities for further research in this field.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT60NW 5.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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