Ancient Monuments

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Upper Keith, ring ditch 1000m NNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Midlothian East, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.856 / 55°51'21"N

Longitude: -2.8881 / 2°53'17"W

OS Eastings: 344500

OS Northings: 662886

OS Grid: NT445628

Mapcode National: GBR 808Q.JN

Mapcode Global: WH7VG.L2XK

Entry Name: Upper Keith, ring ditch 1000m NNW of

Scheduled Date: 7 September 1993

Last Amended: 9 September 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5735

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: barrow

Location: Humbie

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument is the remains of a prehistoric round barrow of a type that usually dates to the Bronze Age, between 2500 BC and 800 BC. This burial monument is visible as a ring ditch with a central pit in its interior, which probably represents a burial. These features are buried below the plough soil, but appear as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The ditch is about 1.7m wide with a maximum external diameter of 10.3m. The central pit is sub-circular with a diameter of about 2m. Other cropmarks lie in the immediate vicinity, but their character is less clear. The barrow lies about 175m above sea level on ground that slopes gently N. The monument was first scheduled in 1993, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measures 40m in diameter, and is centred on the centre of the ring ditch. The scheduling includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to understanding of Bronze Age funerary remains in East Lothian and SE Scotland. The presence of a central burial pit within the ring ditch makes this a good and comparatively rare example of a round barrow in this region. Funerary cairns and barrows such as this would have been prominent and important parts of the Bronze Age landscape, potentially reinforcing concepts such as rights to land. Our understanding of the distribution and character of Bronze Age funerary remains in East Lothian and SE Scotland would be diminished if this monument were lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT46SW 40. The East Lothian Council Historic Environment Record reference is MEL439.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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