Ancient Monuments

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Borrowston Rig,stone circles and cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Leaderdale and Melrose, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.7626 / 55°45'45"N

Longitude: -2.707 / 2°42'25"W

OS Eastings: 355735

OS Northings: 652366

OS Grid: NT557523

Mapcode National: GBR 91JT.R3

Mapcode Global: WH7VY.DF65

Entry Name: Borrowston Rig,stone circles and cairns

Scheduled Date: 14 August 1961

Last Amended: 3 March 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM359

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Lauder

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The stone circle at Borrowston Rig was first scheduled in 1927 and was rescheduled in 1961. Developments in our understanding of ceremonial and funerary sites since the site was rescheduled in 1961 prompted this proposal to extend the area scheduled around the stone circle and to include the possibly related cairns.

The monument includes a stone circle, four certain cairns and a further possible cairn, and a possible stone circle, all of the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age.

The stone circle is egg shaped, measuring 48m (WNW'ESE) by 41m transversely. The stones are all small, many of those which remain standing barely penetrating the heather cover. Fourteen stones are in situ uprights, at least twenty-one more survive close to their original position or were located by probing through the topsoil.

The circle, in its SE arc passes through a boggy area in which further stones almost certainly will survive. Some reports speak of an inlying stone and two outliers. There are stones inside and around the outside of the circle but their significance is not clear. A scatter of stones to the S of the circle, of similar size, may be interpreted as the remains of a further circle.

Approximately 70m to the S of the circle lies a cairn c. 14m in diameter and about 1m high. Two stones, just over 1m apart, lie SW of the centre. It is possible that these are the remains of a megalithic structure, but it is more likely that the cairn is of Early Bronze Age date.

To the N of the circle is a broad natural platform on which lie the remains of a cairn and a possible further cairn. The former measures 14.5m in diameter and 0.6m in height. It appears to have been robbed but considerable archaeological remains should survive beneath the cairn material. Immediately to the S of this cairn lies a stony area, appearing as a slight swelling in the ground, of negligible height and roughly 8m in diameter. This may be a further cairn.

Some 550m to the NNW of the stone circle lies a cairn measuring 8m in diameter and 0.6m high. A small upright stone is set on its summit. 15'm to the NW is a further cairn, measuring 17m in diameter and a maximum of 0.3m in height. It has been robbed but substantial remains should survive under the cairn material.

Three areas are proposed for scheduling. The southernmost includes the stone circle, the possible second stone circle, two certain cairns and a possible third cairn. An area measuring a maximum of 200m WNW'ESE by 160m transversely is proposed to include these monuments and an area around them in which the remains of ancillary activities will probably survive beneath the topsoil. To the N an area of 30m square is proposed for scheduling around both of the other cairns.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it represents the well preserved remains of a stone circle and two associated burial monuments. The group of monuments represents a clustering of ceremonial and burial monuments of the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age. Burials are likely to survive and traces of the use of the stone circle(s) will be recoverable by excavation. Few such groups are known or protected in the area. The monuments are of national importance to the theme of ceremonial and burial activity in the prehistoric period. The group is of particular interest because it combines funerary and ceremonial monuments.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 55 SE 3, 4, 5, 7 and 15.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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