Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Nine Stones, stone circle, Ninestone Rig

A Scheduled Monument in Hawick and Hermitage, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.2675 / 55°16'3"N

Longitude: -2.7609 / 2°45'39"W

OS Eastings: 351749

OS Northings: 597307

OS Grid: NY517973

Mapcode National: GBR 975J.2J

Mapcode Global: WH7Y7.KVJP

Entry Name: Nine Stones, stone circle, Ninestone Rig

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1958

Last Amended: 23 January 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1688

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: stone circle or ring

Location: Castleton

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Hermitage

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises a stone circle, a ritual monument dating from the Neolithic period. The monument was originally scheduled in 1958, but the area covered by the designation was not properly defined. The current rescheduling rectifies this.

The stone circle lies at around 280m OD on a south-facing hill slope overlooking the valley of the Roughley Burn as it heads towards its confluence with the Hermitage Water. The "circle" is actually slightly oval in shape measuring 7.5m ENE-WSW by 7m. Seven of the nine stones are quite small, standing approximately 0.5m high, but two stones on the SW side are larger. The stone at the southern end of the circle is 1.5m high, and that immediately to the W is 0.5m high, but the next stone to the W is 1.75m tall. It is not clear whether all of the stones are now seen at their original height or if some may have been broken in antiquity. A number of the stones, including the two largest, now lean inwards to varying degrees. A number of smaller earthfast stones cluster around the circle, although again it is not clear whether these are part of the original layout or are later additions.

The stone circle also features in local folklore as the backdrop to the grisly demise of Lord Soules, the wicked inhabitant of Hermitage Castle. He was entrapped by a sorcerer, encased in lead and roasted alive in a cauldron set in the centre of the stone circle. No excavation has taken place within the circle, so, unfortunately, the veracity of this story cannot be confirmed.

The area to be scheduled is a circle 30m in diameter centred on the circle, 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 understanding of prehistoric ritual and religion. The oval shape of the circle is similar to a number of other such sites in the area, forming a small group of particular interest.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NY 59 NW 6.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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