Ancient Monuments

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Mantle Walls, Ancrum, bishop's palace

A Scheduled Monument in Jedburgh and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.514 / 55°30'50"N

Longitude: -2.5844 / 2°35'3"W

OS Eastings: 363193

OS Northings: 624621

OS Grid: NT631246

Mapcode National: GBR B4DP.87

Mapcode Global: WH8Y9.8NLS

Entry Name: Mantle Walls, Ancrum, bishop's palace

Scheduled Date: 29 August 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13324

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: palace

Location: Ancrum

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Jedburgh and District

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument is the buried foundations of a substantial stone building and associated buried remains that can be identified as the palace of the bishops of Glasgow at Ancrum, occupied during the 12th and 13th centuries. The monument survived as a group of upstanding stone buildings in the 18th century, but the last of the standing walls fell in 1837. Trial excavation demonstrates that stone walls survive below the ploughsoil, including a dressed stone door surround. The excavation also indicates the survival of pits containing medieval pottery, spreads of demolition debris, robber trenches and midden deposits. Geophysical survey indicates that a probable rectangular enclosure surrounds the building remains and extends to the W and NW; the enclosure measures about 100m W-E by 40m transversely. The monument lies 100m E of the village of Ancrum, about 75m above sea level, on a prominent ridge of higher ground that overlooks the Ale Water to the N and E.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to our understanding of medieval high status dwellings in the Scottish Borders, particularly the construction, form and function of bishop's palaces. Trial excavation indicates high potential for significant survival of stone walls and architectural features. Geophysical survey and aerial photography suggest that extensive buried evidence for a surrounding enclosure may also survive. In addition to the structural remains, there is proven potential for pits and midden deposits that can provide information about the date and character of occupation and for trade and exchange contacts. Bishop's palaces of the 12th and 13th centuries are extremely rare in Scotland. Our understanding of the form and character of medieval bishops' palaces would be diminished if this monument was lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT62SW 13.


Jeffrey, A,1855-64 The history and antiquities of Roxburghshire and adjacent districts from the most remote period to the present time. 4v London, Edinburgh.

Vol 2, pp 349-56.

OSA,1791-9 The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes.

RCAHMS, 1956 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. An inventory of the ancient and historical monuments of Roxburghshire: with the fourteenth report of the Commission, 2v Edinburgh. pp 57-8, no.14.

Stobie, M, 1770 Map of Roxburghshire or Teviotdale, Scale 1"=1 mile.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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